#20 Team News Archive

(NOTE: some older links may not work)


2013 News

  • Races (19+1*) that Husky Tools/Home Depot is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2013:
    Phoenix - 3/3
    Bristol - 3/17
    Martinsville - 4/7
    Kansas - 4/21
    Talladega, 5/5
    Darlington, 5/11
    Charlotte, All-Star Race* - 5/18
    Charlotte, 5/26
    Pocono - 6/9
    Michigan - 6/16
    Sonoma - 6/23
    Daytona - 7/6
    Pocono - 8/3
    Watkins Glen - 8/11
    Atlanta - 9/1
    Richmond - 9/7
    New Hampshire - 9/22, 500th start
    Dover - 9/29, Home Depot "Lets Do This"
    Talladega - 10/20
    Texas - 11/3

  • Races (17+1) that Dollar General is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2013:
    Daytona, Sprint Unlimited* - 2/16
    Daytona 500 - 2/24
    Las Vegas - 3/10
    Auto Club - 3/24
    Texas - 4/13
    Richmond - 4/27
    Dover - 6/2
    Kentucky - 6/29
    New Hampshire - 7/14
    Indy - 7/28
    Michigan - 8/18
    Bristol - 8/24
    Chicago - 9/15
    Kansas - 10/6
    Charlotte - 10/12
    Martinsville - 10/27
    Phoenix - 11/10
    Homestead - 11/17

  • Dollar General increases sponsorship of Kenseth: Dollar General and Joe Gibbs Racing announced they have expanded their partnership agreement for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer will increase its sponsorship to 27 races with Matt Kenseth and the #20 team, up from 17 in 2013. As one of the top contenders for the Sprint Cup Series Championship, Kenseth celebrated seven wins in 2013  more wins than any other driver in the series. Dollar General will again get the opportunity to showcase its brand for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway where Kenseth is a two-time Daytona 500 winner. Dollar General's increased 27-race partnership for 2014 will also include the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as well as highlight Sprint Cup Series events at Talladega Superspeedway in May, Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, the final race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Richmond International Speedway, the Chase kick-off race at Chicagoland Speedway and the October event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With the additional 10 races in which Matt Kenseth will drive the Dollar General #20 Toyota Camry in 2014, the major discount retailer looks to continue its consumer activation by driving sales and customer loyalty.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(12-2-2013)

  • Johnson, Busch Kenseth getting most TV coverage: According to data compiled by Joyce Julis, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth & Kyle Busch have accounted for 40% of all driver mentions during NASCAR telecasts though the Kansas race this year:
    Driver..........Interviews...Interview Time.......Mentions
    #48-Johnson.........30.........0:32:45...............4,536
    #18-Busch...........33.........0:35:20...............4,053
    #20-Kenseth.........32.........0:33:05...............3,621
    #5-Kahne............30.........0:28:41...............2,846
    #24-Gordon..........33.........0:34:46...............2,742
    #2-Keselowski.......25.........0:20:06...............2,607
    #20-Logano, J.......19.........0:20:50...............2,510
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr...23.........0:21:40...............2,352
    #78-Busch...........22.........0:22:05...............2,215
    #99-Edwards.........22.........0:22:44...............2,169
    Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Kansas (Race #30).(Joyce Julius)(10-23-2013)

  • Kenseth crashes in Texas testing: #20-Matt Kenseth had his testing at Texas Motor Speedway cut short when he crashed his car because of an issue with his front right tire. Two days after losing his NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead with a 20th-place finish at Talladega, Kenseth had the session-ending crash Tuesday during a week-delayed Texas test that includes the top eight drivers in the points standings. "Well, it was up and down. It ended down," Kenseth said. "We just had a tire problem and crashed, so we're done for the test. ... When you run nine laps and one blows apart for no reason, that's always a cause for concern for sure." Kenseth said the car he crashed in turn one wasn't the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota he plans to race at the high-banked, 1.5-mile Texas track on Nov. 3, which comes after Sunday's race at Martinsville. "No, she's at home safe ready to get to the track," Kenseth said. There are 16 drivers from five teams taking part in a three-day test at Texas that goes through Wednesday. There were 11 hours of testing scheduled Tuesday, with another full day Wednesday.(Associated Press)(10-22-2013)

  • Kenseth joins fight against Alzheimer's: #20-Matt Kenseth recently directed a $25,000 gift from the Citizen Watch Company (whom Kenseth represents as a brand ambassador) to the Wisconsin Alzheimers Disease Research Center. Citizen wanted to make a significant donation to a charity of our choice, so we decided to help the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Kenseth said. Our family knows first-hand the terrible effects of Alzheimer's. Hopefully, through donations such as these we can fund research dedicated to furthering our understanding of this disease and working toward a cure.(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-13-2013)

  • Kenseth Pursues Chase History In Dover: Matt Kenseth quietly is in pursuit of Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup history. Okay  maybe not so quietly. Winning the opening two races of the 2013 Chase qualifies as making some noise; a lot of noise. A victory in Sundays AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway will give Kenseth title to the Chases first opening triple. Others have tried and failed: Greg Biffle in 2008 and Tony Stewart in 2011. Biffles streak ended in Kansas, where he finished third. Stewart, despite finishing 25th at Dover, went on to win his third championship. Kenseth twice has won at the Monster Mile, most recently in the spring of 2011. Hes led four of the past five races and logged eight top-five finishes from 2008 through spring of 2012.
    That was then  with Roush Fenway Racing, in whose Fords Kenseth won the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion  and this is now. Kenseths first trip to Dover in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was a tease. He qualified fourth and led 29 laps before being relegated to a 40th-place finish by engine failure. Kenseths New Hampshire victory was his seventh of the season extending a record campaign. His previous best season was 2002 in which Kenseth won five times. JGR teammate Denny Hamlin is the most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup driver to win eight times in a season (2010). To reach that number Kenseth will have to keep the pressure on JGR partner Kyle Busch, who just as easily could be the driver on the long end of a two-race Chase winning streak. Busch chased Kenseth to the checkered flag at Chicagoland and again in New Hampshire and stands second in the standings, 14 points off the lead.
    Busch obviously has the fire power to end his teammates streak  especially at Dover, where he likewise has won twice, finished fourth in June and led 302 laps of last Septembers AAA 400. Right now, second place is just fine with Busch, who has more than made up for failing to qualify for last years Chase with his best-ever postseason start. Ive said it for years, if I could finish second in every single Chase race, Id take it and win a championship  than to win just one Chase race, he said. Its all about the prize at the end, and I think this team is really focused on that.(NASCAR)(9-28-2013)

  • Orange colors for Kenseth at Dover: #17-Matt Kenseth will run the orange colors or Home Depot at Dover, promoting the saying "Lets Do This". See images of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page.(9-27-2013)

  • Could Truex go to Gibbs? Will NAPA return? UPDATE: #56-Martin Truex, Jr., an innocent victim in this whole thing, is handling things with class. But he points out that he now has to look out for himself, and that means making some quick decisions about 2014. Immediately after NAPA's decision to pull the plug on the Waltrip-Truex team, there were hopes that NAPA, perhaps with Truex, might move to another stock car operation and continue its sports marketing here. NAPA is one of this sport's long-time sponsors. However Sunday here a man close to the situation said NAPA has now decided simply to drop out of NASCAR racing. If so, that could be a devastating blow; the sanctioning body itself just lost Nationwide as sponsor of its Triple-A tour (following the 2014 season). Where Truex might land, if he does move on? Well, Toyota's Joe Gibbs has been looking to fill a long-proposed fourth Cup team slot; Gibbs tried to get Kurt Busch earlier this year. And Richard Childress is still filling out his 2014 roster. Truex says simply "life moves on. I've moved on from it.(MikeMulhern.net)
    BUT: According to a tweet by NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce, "J.D. Gibbs did everything but rule out 4th Cup team for JGR. 'Going from 2 to 3 was so difficult. ... I don't see it.' ".
    AND: Sporting News' Bob Pockrass reports, "Joe [Gibbs] said he's devoted to Toyota & MWR & supports them, said he has no idea what's happening and had no talks [about] 4th team w/NAPA-Truex"(9-23-2013)
    UPDATE: Waltrip ... said that if Truex could find another deal, he wouldn't hold him back even though two years remain on his contract. Right now, there's only one other real deal out there  the Furniture Row Racing #78 car. That team is self-funded by Barney Visser, who owns the furniture chain. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said he was interested in Truex, and he likely could wait a while for Truex to make a decision. The organization likely would go with a young driver if not Truex, meaning all those drivers probably would be available well into November before having to make a commitment for 2014. The big "if" is whether NAPA will return and sponsor another Cup team. NAPA likes to have a car for the full season but several sources in the garage said the $16 million that NAPA is reportedly paying likely includes a hefty Chase bonus and might be too low to garner a full season with other organizations. Team owner Richard Childress said he wasn't going to call NAPA, but he could start a fourth team if there is interest. "You're always interested, but we're going to see what shakes down here with those guys," he said. "I hope NAPA stays in the sport. I really hate it for Martin. I'm sure they'll see the value in our sport and hopefully stay in with whomever. We're not going to beat their door down. We can do a fourth team. I don't believe in going out and chasing somebody in a bad situation. Let them make their decision."
    Chip Ganassi had no comment on the possibility of pursuing Truex, while Roger Penske said he is set with his two Cup teams for next year. "Martin's one of the good young drivers here," Penske said. "We're committed (to) two cars next year. We have plenty of drivers. What we need to do is stay focused. & At this point, I don't see us going with Truex or NAPA."(Sporting News)(9-23-2013)

  • Kenseth wins New Hampshire: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 2nd win in a row, 7th of 2013, and 31st career win. He becomes only the second driver (with Richard Petty) to win in his 500th series start. He also becomes the third driver to win the opening two races of the Chase (Biffle did it in 2008 and Stewart in 2011).
    #18-Busch finished 2nd (as he did last week in Chicago) followed by #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #1-McMurray, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #55-Vickers, #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, and #56-Truex, Jr.
    Pole sitter #39-Newman led the first 2 laps of the race, but finished 16th.
    The worst finishing Chase driver was #5-Kahne who had an accident late and finished 37th.
    There were 19 lead changes among 11 drivers and 7 cautions for 37 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 107.573mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial New Hampshire Race Results page (pdf) and check out the New Hampshire Penalty Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the New Hampshire Official Race & Points Report (pdf)(9-23-2013)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Launches Chase Digital Magazine: Joe Gibbs Racing currently holds the first and second position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship standings, and now fans will have a unique way to follow the team over the next nine weeks with the launch of a new digital magazine. The magazine will be available on both Apple and Android devices including tablets. It will be available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and accessed through the following direct link: www.joegibbsracing.com/chaseapp. The magazine, which will be updated throughout the Chase and through the conclusion of the season, will feature profiles on each of Joe Gibbs Racing's three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The digital magazine will be informative for all NASCAR fans and not just those passionate about JGR's three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. It includes educational pieces that provide in-depth and interactive aspects of the sport including the importance of camber and toe to the performance of a race car. In addition, there is an infographic on each of the race tracks featured in the Chase. Of course there is plenty of information specific to JGR, including photo essays, video profiles of each driver, a feature on driver Darrell Wallace, Jr. and statistical analysis of each driver.(JGR)(9-20-2013)

  • Milestone starts this weekend: #14-Mark Martin, #20-Matt Kenseth and #38-David Gilliland will all hit milestones this weekend - 875th NSCS start for Martin, 500th NSCS start for Kenseth and 250th start for Gilliland. Martin, who is subbing for Tony Stewart, is fifth on the all-time series starts list behind only Richard Petty (1,185), Ricky Rudd (906), Terry Labonte (885) and Dave Marcis (883).(NASCAR)
    AND Current points leader, Matt Kenseth, is set to earn a career milestone this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he looks to make his 500th Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Sylvania 300. Kenseth made his debut in the series in 1998, and has spent 14 full seasons at NASCAR's top level. Kenseth will be driving a special 500th start paint scheme aboard his #20 Home Depot Husky Toyota for this weekend's race events in Loudon, and will be looking to earn his seventh win of the season in this milestone start.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page.(9-19-2013)

  • Kenseth wins Chicago: #20-Matt Kesenth won the GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway for his 6th win of 2013 and 30th career win.
    #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #29-Harvick, #78-Busch, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #15-Bowyer, and #39-Newman.
    The start of the race was delayed about 90 minutes because of rain. Rain then started again on lap 109, causing a red flag of 5 hours 10 minutes before the race resumed.
    Pole sitter #22-Logano lost an engine cylinder just past halfway. He fell out of the race shortly after and finished 37th.
    Chase driver #88-Earnhardt, Jr. also lost an engine and finished 35th.
    There were 25 lead changes among 16 drivers and 9 cautions for 46 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 125.855mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Chicago Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Chicago Penalty Report (pdf).(9-15-2013)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Partners with Pit Crew U: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that it has partnered with Pit Crew U, a division of Performance Instruction & Training, on a pit crew development program designed to keep a flow of talent coming to the organization for years to come. It certainly is no secret how important pit crews have become in our sport especially with track position playing such a vital role in each race, said J.D. Gibbs, President of JGR. Weve always believed in developing our own talent through our driver program and our Nationwide Series program, which has seen many team members, including crew chiefs, make the step to the Sprint Cup Series. Were excited to partner with Pit Crew U now to make sure we have a consistent flow of over the wall talent coming to JGR in the years to come. Pit Crew U has produced some of the best over-the-wall talent in NASCAR with several of JGRs current Sprint Cup Series pit crew members having come out of their program. JGR will work with Pit Crew U to identify 10 talented athletes to form a development squad for their racing programs with the intent to eventually fill the organizations needs in their Nationwide Series programs and ultimately the Sprint Cup Series.(JGR)(8-15-2013)

  • Ross Kenseth to make ARCA debut: Ross Kenseth, the 20-year-old son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #20-Matt Kenseth, will attempt to make his first ARCA Racing Series start on Sunday, Aug. 25, at Madison International Speedway. Driving the #52 Blains Farm & Fleet Chevrolet for Ken Schrader Racing, Ross Kenseths ARCA debut will occur just 100 miles from his hometown of Little Chute, Wis., and only 20 miles from Cambridge, Wis., the home of his famous father.(RossKenseth.com)(8-13-2013)

  • Kyle Busch calls Newman 'idiot': #78-Kurt Busch kept his cool after being involved in a wreck with Ryan Newman that ended his chances of winning Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire, but his younger brother didn't. #18-Kyle Busch took several shots at Newman, who earlier in the week learned this would be his last season with Stewart-Haas Racing. "I really hate it that Kurt got tore up and I felt like he had the best car here today," Kyle said to ESPN of his brother, who led a race-high 102 laps. "He was definitely good. He could definitely roll the long runs for sure and I was proud of those guys, but man just stupidity. I mean Ryan Newman is the biggest stupid idiot out here. And he's a big ogre and he can do whatever he wants because he can probably kick anybody's butt, so no sense in getting into a fight with him. But glad he is out of a job." The incident occurred on lap 226 of 302. It turned a potential win into a 31st-place finish that dropped Kurt from ninth to 14th in the standings. Kurt didn't mention Newman after the incident, but said he got hit from behind. The driver behind him was #20-Matt Kenseth. Newman, who finished 39, said Kurt took himself out. "I guess [Kenseth] had a little influence on it," Newman said. "We were kind of in a bad spot having a little bit older tires. ... Just a lot of disrespect from a bunch of guys on restarts. What comes around goes around."(ESPN)(7-15-2013)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth wins Kentucky: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Quaker State 400 rain delayed Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 4th win of 2013, 1st ever win at Kentucky and 28th career win. On the last pit stop during caution, the #20 team only took fuel, came out with the lead and won the race. #48-Johnson led the most laps with 182 of 267 laps
    #1-McMurray finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #22-Logano, #18-Busch, #78-Busch, #56-Truex Jr, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson and #29-Harvick.
    The race was pushed back from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon due to rain.
    On lap 47, #78-Busch tried to pass #2-Keselowski on the apron, when he came back on the track, he drifted hard into the #2, who spun and came back up into the track and got hit by #16-Biffle, #93-Kvapil and #7-Blaney. Others involved #27-Menard and #33-Cassill.
    Pole sitter, #88-Earnhardt Jr. led 11 laps, but around lap 37, he hit the remains of a blown tire from #11-Hamlin which did some damage to the nose & grill on the car. The team made numerous repairs and he finished 12th.
    On lap 148, #11-Hamlin had a tire go down and smacked the wall, really hurts his Chase chances. Hamlin was taken to the infield care center at the track to get checked out. Hamlin said he is ok, banged his knee, bell rung, didn't feel good when he wnet to the care center, felt much better afterwards. Back feels fine.
    On lap 247 on the resatrt #48-Johnson was 2nd, came off turn 1 and came down on #22-Lagaon, they didn't touch, but the #48 spun and caused a caution, falling to the rear. Johnson rallied to finish 9th.
    There were 11 lead changes among 6 drivers and 10 cautions for 42 yellow flag laps and a short red flag to clean up the track after a wreck.
    The average speed was 131.948mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Kentucky Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Kentucky Penalty Report (pdf).
    For Official Results & Points, see the Official Kentucky Race and Points Report.(6-30/7-1-2013)

  • Keselowski says rivals stole Ford employees, information: #2-Brad Keselowski met with Ford Motor Co. employees in Dearborn on Thursday and signed autographs and answered questions. The defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion also found time to chat with reporters and take a sharp jab at Chevrolet-backed Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing, which runs Toyotas. Keselowski criticized Hendrick and Gibbs for "stealing away" employees and information from Ford Cup teams, including his own Penske Racing outfit and Roush Fenway Racing. Keselowski didn't mince words about Hendrick and Gibbs' recruitment techniques when he was asked by the media about the recent efforts of Ford teams like Penske and Roush coming together and sharing information. "There are little things you can do," Keselowski said of Ford-backed teams opening up lines of communication in an effort to improve performances on the track. "What keeps it from going too far is the fact that Hendrick and Gibbs have this nasty little habit of going to other teams and outbidding other people and taking those employees and stealing our information, and, when that happens, that puts walls up between the camps because you are giving up more than one piece of information  you are giving up two companies' information and trying to protect yourself against that, it forces you to put up walls.It doesn't necessarily lend itself to working together. But still, we are going to put in a valiant effort where we can and where it makes sense to put Ford in a position to have the best results possible."Keselowski cited two incidents where he claimed Hendrick and Gibbs  who between them run the likes of series points leader and five-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr.  lured away Ford team employees with big offers."Gibbs stole the Roush aero director and took all the information," said Keselowski. "And Hendricks took three employees from our Chase-winning team last year."(USA Today)(6-14-2013)
    GIBBS STATEMENT: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) released the following statement from Owner Joe Gibbs in response to the recent comments made by driver Brad Keselowski: "We were surprised to read the recent comments and accusations made by Brad Keselowski. Clearly those comments are misguided and irresponsible. Brad's candor is well documented, but he would do well to only speak to subjects on which he is properly informed. Obviously NASCAR is a very competitive environment and we take our hiring processes seriously at JGR. The individual he referenced in his comments was working outside of the sport of NASCAR at the time we hired him. We have a great deal of respect for Roger Penske and his organization and I feel like I have always had a good personal relationship with Roger. We look forward to competing with Brad on the racetrack, but hope that he will use better judgment in the future before making such misinformed claims and accusations."(JGR)
    HENDRICK STATEMENT: HMS owner Rick Hendrick also took offense to what Keselowski said. "The comments Brad reportedly made were misinformed,'' Hendrick said. "The truth is that we hired one tire changer, who was a backup for Penske and whose contract was up. We also brought over one mechanic from their Nationwide program and, when the Penske engine shop was closing, added a few of those people. What Brad left out was that his organization also hired one of our tire changers. All of this was above board and is part of doing business in a competitive environment. I take no issue with any of it, and I expect Roger [Penske] would say the same. Brad misrepresents the facts and spends a lot of time making insinuations and accusations about other teams when he should be focused on his own program and competing at a high level. I hope he figures that out and begins representing himself and the sport with more class."(ESPN)(6-15-2013)

  • Denis McGlynn explains JGR appeal: Denis McGlynn had a simple explanation why an appeals panel sided with Joe Gibbs Racing and eased penalties levied against the organization by NASCAR: The harsh punishment simply did not fit the small infraction. McGlynn, CEO of Dover International Speedway, was part of a three-person National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel that significantly reduced NASCAR's punishment of JGR for having an illegal part in #20-Matt Kenseth's race-winning engine at Kansas. "The penalty was so severe for what was, in our opinion, a minor infraction," McGlynn said Thursday. McGlynn said the panel entered the appeal "thinking with more flexibility" because penalties against Penske Racing had been reduced a week earlier by chief appellate officer John Middlebrook.
    "Yes, the engine was out spec very, very marginally," McGlynn said. "There were three independent affidavits or personal testimony from engine builders who testified that infraction gave no advantage to the team. In fact, the other push rods were all overweight." In retrospect, McGlynn said the panel should not have allowed the win to count toward Chase eligibility because the engine had an illegal part. McGlynn said he reached out that day to NASCAR President Mike Helton and apologized if he made his day more difficult. "He said we did," McGlynn said, chuckling. "But it's just one of those things. We're on that panel for a purpose."(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-31-2013)

  • Kenseth voted 1st Qtr Driver of the Year award: NASCAR's Matt Kenseth crushed the opposition to win the first quarter Driver of the Year Award 2013. The 2003 Sprint Cup Champion scored twice the points of his nearest rivals in a vote by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists. In racing terms Kenseth rolled off the hauler quickly in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing. In the first quarter ending May 12th he scored three wins (Las Vegas, Kansas and Darlington), two poles and led 781 laps. The usually droll Wisconsin native was moved and a little surprised when he heard the news. "It's always an honor whenever you're selected for any kind of award from the media or the fans," Kenseth said. "I never even thought of receiving this award, so it's pretty cool to have been selected for this. In the voting Kenseth, who drives the No. 20 Dollar General/Home Depot Husky Toyota Camry, had ten first-place ballots and totaled 110 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Canada's James Hinchcliffe, who drives the Go Daddy Dallara-Chevrolet for Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar series, had one first-place vote and tallied 55 points. Kyle Busch, one of Kenseth's teammates, a threat to win on any NASCAR track finished third with two first-place votes and 50 points. Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race, also had one first-place vote. A total of 15 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In its' 47th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. The panel of 18 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Four panelists did not vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Kenseth will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a race weekend at to be determined.(DOTY)(5-23-2013)

  • Kenseth wins at Darlington: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway for his 3rd win of 2013, 1st win at Darlington and 27th career win. He took the lead from #18-Busch with 13 laps to go and pulled away to win by more than 3 seconds. Kenseth was running with Wally Brown acting as his crew chief while Jason Ratcliff served his one race suspension.
    #11-Hamlin, in his first full race back since being injured at Auto Club Speedway, finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon (his 300th career top-5 finish), #48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #18-Busch (who dominated much of the race, leading 265 laps, before fading late), #99-Edwards, #42-Montoya, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and #39-Newman.
    Pole sitter #78-Busch struggled with an ill-handling car and finished 14th.
    A long stretch of green flag laps put as few at 10 cars on the lead lap at one point, before late cautions allowed 17 drivers to finish on the lead lap.
    There were 9 lead changes among 4 drivers and 5 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 141.383mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Darlington Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Darlington Penalty Report (pdf)
    And see the Official Darlington Race and Points Report.

  • Wally Brown to serve as Kenseth's crew chief: Two former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs and an engineer will begin interim roles atop the pit box this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway. Kevin Buskirk and Steve Reis have been named to fill the crew chief roles for Penske Racing's two Cup teams beginning with this week's Bojangles' Southern 500. For Joe Gibbs Racing, former Cup crew chief Wally Brown will be calling the shots for the #20 team and driver Matt Kenseth.(NASCAR.com)(5-10-2013)

  • Gibbs' penalties reduced by appeals panel UPDATE: According to reports from media at the NASCAR Research & Development Center, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel has modified the penalties accessed to Matt Kenseth's #20 team:
    Kenseth's points penalty has been reduced from 50 to 12;
    Joe Gibb's owner points penalty has been reduced from 50 to 12;
    Gibb's suspension was eliminiated;
    The marnufacturer's point penalty to Toyota has been increased from 5 to 7 points;
    Kenseth's win at Kansas will now count for the Chase;
    Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff's suspension has been reduced from 6 races to 1. His fine remains at $200,000.
    The appeal panel consisted of Mark Arute (Stafford Motor Speedway), Denis McGlynn (Dover Raceway) and Jack Housby (former team owner).(5-8-2013)
    UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of the#20 Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The penalties concern Sections 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to the NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event; and 20-5.5.3E: Only solid magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Connecting rod failed to meet minimum connecting rod weight. The penalties stemmed from a post-race engine inspection April 23 at the NASCAR Research and Development Center. The Appellants appealed all penalties. The Appellants also requested and were granted a deferral of the suspensions until such time as the hearing could be convened. Upon hearing the testimony, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to amend the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The amendments are as follows:
    • Crew chief Jason Ratcliff: The $200,000 fine remains intact; NASCAR suspension now covers one championship points event. In addition, he will be placed on NASCAR probation until the completion of the next three championship points events following his reinstatement;
    • Car owner Joe Gibbs: Loss of championship owner points has been reduced to 12. All other components of his penalty were rescinded;
    • Driver Matt Kenseth; Loss of championship driver points has been reduced to 12. All other components of his penalty were rescinded;
    • Manufacturer: The loss of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series manufacturer championship points has been increased to seven.(NASCAR)(5-8-2013)

  • Kenseth penalty appeal to be heard May 8: On Wednesday, May 8 at 9:00am/et at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel will hear the Joe Gibbs Racing appeal of penalties assessed to the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. On April 23 following the Kansas Speedway race weekend, this team was penalized for infractions discovered during post-race engine inspection at the R&D Center.(NASCAR)(4-29-2013)

  • NASCAR and Gibbs talk about #20 team penalties: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton discussed NASCAR's penalties to the #20 team Friday afternoon:
    PEMBERTON: As everyone knows there are a few things that are understood in the garage area that are big. When you talk about engines, you talk about tires, and you talk about fuel. That's a common thread that's been understood, and it's stood the test of time for the last 65 years. Don't mess with those areas, and the penalties are severe. But when you look in the case of an engine, the only time we really get a chance to look internally at an engine is post-race. Some of our most severe penalties over time have surrounded engine infractions.
    Q. Why was the team penalized rather than the manufacturer?
    PEMBERTON: That's tough too. Because when you look at, in their particular situation, we probably don't know all the details, but we do know they come from an outside vendor for the most part, and I don't know how you would go -- it's very difficult to go to an outside vendor and penalize them whether it's springs or shocks or parts that are bought and bolted on race cars. That's why in today's world we all know and relate to the fact that it stops at the crew chief and stops at the owner and stops at the organization that is here to compete.
    PEMBERTON: It's a part that didn't meet spec. It's not a gray area. There are numbers in the books. If you look at numbers in the books and what's going on in the garage area and across our national series those numbers for a connecting rod have been in the book since around the time we went to a single-engine rule, which is probably 12 years ago. So you take that and the amount of engines and engine components in the garage area, and then every given weekend it's done right the vast majority of the time.(NASCAR)
    AND #20 team owner Joe Gibbs also addressed the media Friday at Richmond:
    Joe Gibbs: I want to say that we value our NASCAR partnership very much. We've been together, working together for 22 years and we value our relationship with them. Certainly, we do not want to be on the wrong side of any rules. That's our goal. I wanted to emphasize that. I want to make a point [that] we have a great partner in TRD (Toyota Racing Development). Over the six years we've been together at different times -- this is a big deal, a lot of things come up -- NASCAR's a big deal for us and a big deal for TRD. It's what we live. Through the process over these six years at different times we've stood behind them as we go through something -- in support and be there with them. At different times, they have been behind us. That's what good partners do. We think we have a great partnership with them and we're going to stand together and work our way through this and again try to handle it the right way. We believe that we are going to be together for a long time. I think everyone at this point has probably heard that in tearing down our motor after last week's win, one of the connecting rods was found to be light. That goes against the rules and we understand that. We know that there's going to be a penalty for that. What we're going to appeal is the severity of the penalties. In looking at that motor and where all the connecting rods were placed and the weight of all the connecting rods, when you have motor experts look at it basically what they would say is there is no advantage to having that one light rod in that motor. That's one thing that is very important to me is the intent here was not to get an unfair advantage in any way. That's very important to me. The other point that I would like to make is since we started out this year there has been 10 TRD motors torn down -- eight of them have been Joe Gibbs Racing motors. Nothing with those other motors has found to be wrong in those motors in anyway. Those motors were found to be legal there. I think basically that's what our appeal is going to be. We want to go forward and go through that process and what we'll be appealing will be the severe nature of the penalties."(Toyota Motorsports)(4-27-2013)

  • Kenseth calls penalties unfair: #20-Matt Kenseth talked to the media Thursday morning at Richmond:
    What was your reaction to the penalties NASCAR announced yesterday? Do you think they were severe?
    "I think the penalties are grossly unfair. I think it's borderline shameful. There's no argument the part was wrong. They weighed it and it was wrong. However, there is an argument that there certainly was no performance advantage. If you can find any unbiased, reputable, knowledgeable engine-builder and if they saw the facts, what all the rods weighed. The average weight of all the rods was well above the minimum -- 2.5 (grams) above the minimum at least. There was one in there that was way heavy. There was no performance advantage, there was no intent, it was a mistake. JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) had no control over it. Certainly to crush Joe Gibbs like that -- to say they can't win an owner's championship with the 20 this year is just, I can't wrap my arms around that, it just blows me away. And the same with Jason Ratcliff (crew chief). I don't feel bad for myself at all, but for Jason and Joe, I just couldn't feel any worse. There's no more reputable, honest hard-working guys with good reputations more so than those two -- I feel really bad for them."
    Do you expect a positive response from the appeals process?
    "I don't know. I've never been through it so I honestly don't know. That's the hope, that's why it's setup. You've seen some examples of both. I don't know. That's what the hope is, that's why it's setup. We'll just go through that and see what happens and see whatever the final verdict is -- we'll have to live with that and move on."(Toyota Racing PR)(4-25-2013)

  • TRD Statment on #20 penalties: TRD Statement: "During NASCAR's routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth's race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway, one of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas -- JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD's part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been -- and will continue to be -- to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR."(TRD)(4-24-2013)

  • Kenseth's engine fails post race inspection UPDATE - penalties; team will appeal: The engine in #20-Matt Kenseth's race-winning car from Kansas failed inspection at NASCAR's Research and Development Center. NASCAR officials were discussing Wednesday what penalties to levy against Kenseth and Joe Gibbs Racing, multiple people familiar with the inspection told the AP on the condition of anonymity because no decision has been made. The engine failed because one of the connecting rods not meeting the minimum weight requirement. Kenseth drove the #20 Toyota to his second win of the season Sunday in Kansas. It is standard procedure for the race winning engine to go back to Concord for a thorough inspection. The JGR engines are supplied by Toyota Racing Development out of Costa Mesa, Calif., but NASCAR would hold the team responsible for any infractions.(Associated Press)(4-24-2013)
    UPDATE: Penalties have been handed down to the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team as a result of rule violations discovered in the post-race engine inspection April 23 at the NASCAR Research and Development Center. The #20 car was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-5.5.3 (E) (Only magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted; connecting rod failed to meet the minimum connecting rod weight) of the 2013 rule book. As a result of this violation, NASCAR has assessed the following penalties:
    • Crew chief Jason Ratcliff has been fined $200,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (a period of time that also includes the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
    • Car owner Joe Gibbs has lost 50 championship car owner points; the first place finish from April 21 at Kansas Speedway will not earn bonus points toward the accumulated aggregate car owner points total after the completion of the first 26 events of the current season and will not be credited towards the eligibility for a car owner Wild Card position; has had the owner's license for the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car suspended until the completion of the next six championship points events, therefore being ineligible to receive championship car owner points during that period of time.
    • Driver Matt Kenseth has lost 50 championship driver points; the Coors Light Pole award from April 19 at Kansas Speedway will not be allowed for eligibility into the 2014 Sprint Unlimited; the first place finish from April 21 at Kansas Speedway will not earn bonus points toward the accumulated aggregate driver points total after the completion of the first 26 events of the current season and will not be credited towards the eligibility for a driver Wild Card position.
    • The loss of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer Championship points.
    (NASCAR)(4-24-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing Statement: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is aware of the penalty issued by NASCAR today regarding the engine in our #20 car used in last week's Sprint Cup Series race in Kansas. It is our understanding that one of the eight connecting rods on the engine was ruled too light. We are working with our partners at TRD on this issue. In the meantime we will plan to appeal the penalty.(JGR)(4-24-2013)

  • Kenseth wins at Kansas: #20-Matt Kenseth won the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway for his 2nd win of 2013, 2nd win at Kansas and 26th career win. Kenseth also led the most laps with 163. Kenseth won from the pole, making Kansas the third Sprint Cup Series race in a row the winner started on the pole, the first time since 1985 that has happened.
    #5-Kahne finished 2nd, followed by #48-Johnson, #56-Truex Jr., #15-Bowyer, #2-Keselowski [was a lap down and lost some sheet metal on the rear of the car], #1-McMurray, #43-Almirola, #55-Martin and #27-Menard. #18-Busch, who started 5th in a backup car, spun twice, the 2nd time hitting the wall and hitting #22-Logano and finished 38th, Busch was going for his 5th top-five in a row.
    There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 40 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 133.611mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Kansas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Kansas Penalty Report (pdf)
    And see the Official Race and Points on the Kansas Official Race and Points Report page (pdf)

  • Kenseth to sub for Hamlin at Short Track Showdown: #11-Denny Hamlin has a substitute driver for his April 25 Short Track Showdown charity race at Richmond: his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate #20-Matt Kenseth. Kenseth will drive a Late Model in Hamlin's place for the annual event that pits NASCAR drivers against some top local short-track talent. "Obviously, it kills me to not be able to race in the Short Track Showdown," Hamlin said. "I grew up racing these cars against some of the best in the area, and it's always fun to come back and do it again, but my injury won't allow that this year."(USA Today), for more info, see Jayski's NASCAR Charities page.(4-11-2013)

  • Hendrick Motorsports still most valuable team according to Forbes: Hendrick Motorsports is NASCAR's most valuable team with a value of $357 million, up 2%. Hendrick is worth twice as much as second-ranked Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick is the only four car Sprint Cup team left and brings in $125 million in sponsor revenue a year. Lowe's extended its deal last month through 2015 as the primary sponsor of Jimmie Johnson's #48 car. Earnhardt Ganassi (ranked #8 with a value of $72 million) announced it would switch engine suppliers from Earnhardt Childress Racing to Hendrick starting in 2013. This will add to Hendrick's coffers, which are already full as NASCAR's most profitable team with an estimated operating income of $16.6 million in 2012.
    Gibbs, worth $168 million, leapfrogs Roush Fenway Racing. Gibbs got a huge boost in 2013 with the addition of 2003 Sprint Cup champ Matt Kenseth, who replaced Joey Logano in the #20 car. Gibbs has been one of the most consistent teams when it comes to selling sponsorships with all paint schemes sold ahead of the season start in 2012 and 2013. JGR signed a 30-race renewal with FedEx last year on the #11 car.
    The value of Roush is down 10% to $166 million. The team has struggled to sell sponsorships in recent years and lost Kenseth to Gibbs. Richard Childress Racing ranks No. 4 with a value of $139 million, down 6%. Childress is at a crossroad as it prepares to lose its top driver, Kevin Harvick, who signed a deal to race for Stewart-Haas Racing starting in 2014. Still to be determined is if long-time sponsor, Budweiser, will follow Harvick out the door.
    The value of Stewart-Haas is up 14% to $123 million and ranks fifth. Tony Stewart and Gene Haas are building one of the top teams in NASCAR.
    NASCAR's top nine teams are worth $143 million on average, up 1% over last year. Each of these teams are profitable by our count (some just barely) with team's cutting budgets in cases where sponsor shortfalls arise. Earnings are down 10% overall compared to 2011.(see more details and the complete list at Forbes)(3-14-2013)

  • Kenseth wins at Las Vegas: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2013, 1st win with Job Gibbs Racing, 3rd win at Las Vegas and 25th career win. #5-Kahnefinished second followed by #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #99-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #56-Truex, Jr., #29-Harvick, and #27-Menard.
    Kenseth did not take any tires on his final pitstop to grab the lead and held Kahne off the rest of the race.
    There were 22 lead changes among 8 drivers and 5 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 146.287mph. Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Las Vegas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Phoenix Penalty Resport (pdf).

  • Only TWO Birthday winners EVER - Now THREE: Cale Yarborough and Kyle Busch are the only NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to ever win a points paying race on their birthday. Yarborough, birthday March 27, in 1977 at North Wilkesboro Speedway and a second time in 1983 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Busch won at Richmond on May 2, 2009, to become only the 2nd driver EVER to win on their birthday, and only the third time ever.
    why do I bring this up? #20-Matt Kenseth's birthday is Sunday, March 10th and in his 13 Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he has never raced at the 1.5-mile track on his birthday BUT has won two races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and was fastest in one of Thursday's practices. Kenseth's two wins came under the old track configuration in 2007. Kenseth won in 2003 and 2004.(3-9-2013)
    UPDATE: Kenseth won the Kobalt Tools 400 Sunday on his 41st birthday and became the third driver to win on his birthday.(3-10-2013)

  • New look for the #20 at Phoenix: Sunday's 312-lap Subway Fresh Fit 500 will mark the premiere of the #20 Home Depot Husky Tools Toyota. Featuring the Husky brand's red and black colors, the #20 Toyota Camry will debut its new paint scheme on the track this weekend with veteran driver Matt Kenseth behind the wheel. With over 80 years of experience building the toughest hand tools, air compressors, air tools and tool storage products, Husky has what it takes to provide solutions you can count on. No one knows that better than The Home Depot, which is the only place you can find the complete selection of Husky. If there's ever a problem with your hand tool, you can be sure that they'll replace it. No hassle. No charge.(JGR), see image of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2013)

  • Matt Kenseth "auditioned" spotters before picking his new one: Spotter Chris Osborne didn't know at the time that he was part of a two-month audition process conducted by driver Matt Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff. But the man who goes by the handle @crazy_spotter on Twitter passed the meticulous test admirably and now is installed as spotter for Kenseth and his new #20 Toyota team at Joe Gibbs Racing. One area of concern to the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, after he announced plans to leave Roush Fenway Racing and join the Gibbs organization, was finding a spotter to replace Mike Calinoff, who opted to remain with Roush Fenway. Calinoff and Kenseth had a rhythm and repartee that would be difficult to duplicate. That's why Kenseth and Ratcliff listened to hours of audio before making their choice. "I did a lot of research last year -- Jason and I did -- before we really interviewed or offered a job to a spotter," Kenseth told the NASCAR Wire Service on Friday at Daytona International Speedway. "I listened to a lot of different audio& I was so sick of listening to spotters and drivers and crew chiefs talking back and forth. "I just listened to a lot of audio from different races that we recorded, so I could listen to different spotters and their style, without them knowing that you're listening to them." More than anything else, Kenseth was looking for a spotter who fit his laid-back style. He found that in Osborne, who was spotter for the #22 car at Penske Racing.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-23-2013)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: the final stop on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour was Joe Gibbs Racing: Some notes from Twitter world
    JGR officially announces multi-year extension with Kyle Busch.
    Busch says he had two serious offers from other Sprint Cup teams to leave JGR (supposedly SHR was one).
    Kyle Busch will also drive 25 Nationwide races for JGR in the #54.
    Kyle says that Joe Gibbs Racing will supply engines for KBM (Kligerman in Nationwide, Coulter & Kyle in truck)
    Denny Hamlin expects that new rear camber rules will make reliability a big topic in 2013.
    Joe Gibbs says that all JGR Cup sponsors are signed for long term deals except one (Home Depot/Husky?).
    Coach Gibbs says the 49ers will win this year's Super Bowl.
    Matt Kenseth says changing teams at the same time as learning the new #car has been beneficial.
    Elliott Sadler testing a Sprint Cup car today at New Smyrna Speedway but no Cup races set for him in 2013.
    JD Gibbs says there will be an announcement on Bubba Wallace soon.
    (from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-24-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #20-Matt Kenseth / Joe Gibs Racing: 2003 Champ Matt Kenseth comes over from Roush Fenway Racing to take over the #20 Toyota formerly driven by Joey Logano. Kenseth will be paired with crew chief Jason Ratcliff who became the crew cheif of the #20 team in 2012. Dollar General will step up to sponsor the #20 for 17 races and the familiar Home Depot colors will be replaced by the reddish colors of Home Depot's tool division, Husky, for 20 races. Kenseth will also have a new spotter after a decade with RFR's Mike Calinoff. It'll also be tough not putting a #17 in front of Kenseth's name any longer. See images of the Husky and Dollar General schemes on my #20 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-11-2013)

  • Study names NASCAR's Social Media Leaders: Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and #48-Jimmie Johnson are among NASCAR's strongest and most engaging users of social media, a new social media study of the NASCAR industry finds. The study  conducted by Tuckahoe Strategies, a strategic communications firm - scored drivers, teams and select NASCAR sponsors and partners on a 20-point scale. Joe Gibbs Racing topped the charts with a Social Media Score of 15 points, Hendrick trailed by one point at 14 points and Johnson scored 13 points.
    Gibbs' online accounts comprise one of the broadest social media strategies for reaching fans of the sport. The team site, www.joegibbsracing.com, is up to date with timely features, and the homepage points to six social media platforms, including a mobile app for iPhone, Blackberry or Droid. The team maintains active social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and FourSquare. Hendrick also has an active and diverse menu of social media platforms including a mobile app. Gibbs' social media score bested Hendrick's by a single point because of its slightly more effective home page promotion of its social media platforms.
    Johnson is the most comprehensive user of social media among drivers. He reaches his audience on a broad array of platforms including: Facebook, 657,062 page likes; Twitter, 348,402 followers; YouTube, 265 subscribers; and Instagram, with an industry-leading 60,618 followers. Johnson's social media reach (the sum of all social media followers across platforms) is 1,066,347. This veritable "media machine" has a following larger than the circulation of the Los Angeles Times, which is the fourth largest newspaper in the country.
    The sport's largest audience holder and content curator across the board is NASCAR. The sanctioning body regained a voice and a direct connection to its fan base this year after repossessing control of its online assets in a January 2012 agreement with Turner Sports Interactive. NASCAR's total social media reach is an astronomical 5,044,070, more than double the daily circulation of the largest U.S. newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. In fact, NASCAR commands the industry's top position in terms of audience on Facebook likes (3,239,504), Twitter followers (841,027) and YouTube subscribers (5,430). The sanctioning body also has 1,420 followers on Pinterest and a staggering 956,689 circles on Google+.(Tuckahoe Strategies)(1-10-2013)

2012 News

  • Races (12) that Dollar General is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2012:
    Las Vegas - 3/11
    Auto Club - 3/25
    Texas - 4/7
    Talladega - 5/6
    Charlotte - 5/27
    Kentucky - 6/30
    Daytona - 7/7
    Indianapolis - 7/29
    Bristol - 8/25
    Chicago - 9/16
    Kansas - 10/21
    Phoenix - 11/11

  • Home Depot's Husky to be primary sponsor on the #20 in 2013: The Home Depot announces it will utilize the home improvement store's proprietary tool brand, Husky, as the primary sponsor for the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota in each of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races during the 2013 season. Through this partnership The Home Depot looks to reward its customers through Husky Days of Giving, a Facebook contest offering the chance to win great Husky products daily as well as a grand prize to be awarded at the end of the promotion. Fans can enter once daily between now and December 24 for their chance to win. Husky will be the primary sponsor on JGR's #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry in 20 races during the 2013 season and will remain the associate sponsor when Dollar General serves as the car's primary sponsor (Joe Gibbs Racing), for more info on the contest, see Jayski's NASACR Contest page, see an image of the car on my #20 Team Schemes page.(12-11-2012)

  • Hamlin Lobbied for Kenseth: #11-Denny Hamlin believes Matt Kenseth will be a perfect fit for Joe Gibbs Racing, and he made his feelings known when Kenseth started discussions with the organization. JGR announced in early September that Kenseth would drive the #20 Toyota for the organization next year. Roughly two months earlier, Roush Fenway Racing had reveled Kenseth would be leaving after 13 seasons of full-time Sprint Cup racing for that organization. "I was one that definitely pushed for Matt to come over to Gibbs, and I just think that he's really going to mesh well with me and Kyle (Busch)," Hamlin said. "I know that Kyle does a lot of short-track racing with Matt's son (Ross Kenseth), and I know that me and Matt have very similar driving styles on the race track. I look forward to that communication and just hearing about how he did things versus how we do things, and, really, that's what makes teams stronger. When Kyle came over in 2008, it was that drive that kind of pushed me to that next level --having someone come over and push you to be better. I think it's going to be no different with Matt."(NASCAR Wire Service)(12-2-2012)

  • Logano set for his final race with JGR: This weekend, Joey Logano will climb aboard the #20 Home Depot/Red Beacon Toyota for the final time. When the green flag falls on Sunday, Logano will begin his final race in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing ride after four years full-time behind the wheel of the famed car. At season's end, Logano will be moving on to Penske Racing while former Sprint Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth will take of the seat of the #20 for 2013. Once again this weekend, the familiar orange Home Depot colors will be replaced with a new red #20 on the track. Redbeacon will join The Home Depot as primary sponsors of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and driver Logano at Homeastead.(JGR)(11-17-2012)

  • Dollar General expanding sponsoring of Joe Gibbs Racing UPDATE Vickers full ride: As many companies are trending away from full-season sponsorships in the Sprint Cup Series, Dollar General is moving toward a 36-race commitment. CEO Rick Dreiling said the discount retailer will increase its spending on NASCAR for the sixth consecutive year, backing Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth for 17 races starting with next year's Daytona 500. That's up from 12 races this season. "Our goal is to grow into a full-time Cup ride," Dreiling told USA Today Sports. "But it's a little soon to commit if that's going to be next year or two to four years from now. That's all down the road." Dollar General also will sponsor a full-time car fielded by JGR for Brian Vickers in the Nationwide Series next season. Dreiling, who wouldn't disclose figures but called the deal part of an "orderly, methodical growth," said stock-car racing is the company's only national sports sponsorship because of internal marketing research that indicates its customers are 30 times more likely to be NASCAR fans than average consumers. Team owner Joe Gibbs said Home Depot, which has been sponsoring the No. 20 since 1999 but scaled back to 24 races this season, will pick up the other 19 races for Kenseth in 2013. JGR still is seeking more primary sponsorship in Sprint Cup to expand to a fourth car, but it will grow on the Nationwide Series in 2013. Vickers will drive one of three full-time cars next season on the second-tier circuit for JGR, which fielded two full-time Camrys this year.(USA Today)(11-6-2012)
    UPDATE - Brian Vickers to run full NNS season with JGR: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has signed a new expanded partnership agreement with Dollar General for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The new agreement means Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will drive Dollar General's familiar yellow and black #20 car in 17 Sprint Cup Races next season beginning with the Daytona 500 in February. In addition, Dollar General will return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and will compete with a full championship season sponsorship with Brian Vickers at the wheel. Vickers will return to the Nationwide Series on a fulltime basis in 2013, 10 years after he won three Nationwide races and became the youngest driver to win the Series Championship at the age of 20.(JGR)(11-6-2012)

  • Logano turning red for three races: This weekend, the familiar orange Home Depot colors will be replaced with a new red #20 on the track. Redbeacon will join The Home Depot as primary sponsors of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and driver Joey Logano this weekend at Martinsville, as well as the remaining races at Texas and Homestead. Redbeacon, a fully owned subsidiary of The Home Depot, is a free online and mobile resource for consumers seeking reliable home-service professionals. By simply requesting a service such as a maid, plumber, electrician, painter and more at redbeacon.com or through Redbeacon's iPhone and Android apps, consumers receive competitive price quotes from qualified local pros in their area.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page.(10-24-2012)

  • Dollar General colors return to the #20: The black and yellow colors of Dollar General return to the side of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing this weekend in Kansas Speedway, the next to last race with the DG colors on the car this season. It's been a successful year with Dollar General as a sponsor with Joe Gibbs Racing and Logano. The 22-year-old has captured four wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series flying the black and yellow DG colors. On the Cup side, Logano has grabbed one top-five and four top-10 finishes while driving the #20 Dollar General Toyota. Dollar General will race with Logano in Kansas this weekend and then will make their final appearance of the season in the next to last race of the year, coming in just a few weeks at Phoenix International Raceway.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page.(10-18-2012)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest - October 12: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Fall FanFest will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its team headquarters in Huntersville, NC on Friday, Oct. 12. JGR NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers-Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano- will be available to sign autographs. JGR NASCAR Nationwide and development series drivers will also be available for autographs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. More info on my NASCAR Charities page.(9-27-2012)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Captures NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win No. 100: Joe Gibbs' hard-to-fathom two-sport career has become statistically symmetrical. Consider& Three Super Bowl championships? Check. Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships? Check. Triple-digit wins in the NFL? Check. Triple-digit wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? Well, after two-plus decades in the sport, Gibbs can check that rare milestone off the list too. With #11-Denny Hamlin's dominant win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) reached a rare milestone, becoming only the sixth team in NASCAR Sprint Cup history to reach 100 victories. Joe Gibbs entered the series in 1992 as a one-car team with eventual series champion Dale Jarrett as his driver. Now, JGR exists as a three-car powerhouse that threatens to win another championship this season with Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender Hamlin. Its first championship came in 2000 with Bobby Labonte. JGR would follow that up win two more titles, both with Tony Stewart (2002 and 2005). Now, the team adds another accolade to the list  100 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories. JGR has won with six different drivers, at 23 different tracks. Below is a timeline of Gibbs' notable and milestone victories on its way to 100:
    1  On Feb. 14, 1993, JGR won its first race  and it was on NASCAR's biggest stage, the Daytona 500. With his father Ned urging him to victory while calling the race from the CBS broadcast booth, Dale Jarrett captured his second and Gibbs' first win. JGR has won at least one race every season since.
    3  JGR won its first Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, on May 28, 1995 with Bobby Labonte driving.
    22  JGR won its first Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On Aug. 5, 2000, during his championship campaign, Bobby Labonte led 21 laps prior to kissing the bricks. JGR would win two more Brickyard events, both with Indiana native Tony Stewart (2005 and 2007).
    23  The team's next win came in another of NASCAR's crown jewels  the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Labonte picked up the win again, on Sept. 3, 2000.
    50  JGR reached milestone victory No. 50 on July 1, 2006. Tony Stewart won the Daytona night race, starting second and leading 86 laps.
    72  On June 28, 2009, in a rain-shortened event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, JGR driver Joey Logano became the youngest winner in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history at the age of 19 years, one month and four days.
    88  On Nov. 7, 2010, Denny Hamlin won at Texas Motor Speedway for the team's 11th victory of the year, making the 2010 season the most prolific in JGR's history.(NASCAR)(9-24-2012)

  • No plans to for Logano to move to the #22 before 2013: in part from a Penske Racing Media Teleconference featuring Joey Logano and Tim Cindric, one of the questions was about the possibility of Joey Logano moving to the #22 Penske Racing Dodge before the 2012 season ends, if Logano fails to make the Chase:
    Q.) J.D. Gibbs said yesterday that he didn't think there would be (a chance) that Joey would get in the 22 car at all this year. I'm curious if Joey didn't make the Chase whether you would try to make that happen?
    TIM CINDRIC: It's not something we've really even considered. I think I'd probably have to agree with J.D. It would be a pretty complicated situation. I think all of our sights are set on starting 2013 fresh in Daytona. Obviously we're making the move to Ford, so we have a lot of things that are going to be different in terms of 2013. We have a consistent group in Paul Wolfe and Brad. We can keep the consistency. Hopefully we're talking about a championship at that point in time, as well.(Penske Racing Media Conference)(9-6-2012)

  • It's Official - Joe Logano signs with Penske Racing: Penske Racing announced that Joey Logano will join the team in 2013. He will drive the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano, 22, a two-time Sprint Cup Series winner who is currently competing in his fourth full season, will begin a multi-year agreement with Penske Racing. "I am very excited to join Penske Racing and begin the next phase of my career," said Logano. "I am looking forward to the opportunity as it will be an honor to drive for Roger Penske and race for wins and championships. I am also proud to represent Shell-Pennzoil as they are a respected global brand that does a great job of activating in the sport on and off the track."
    "Joey Logano is a very talented driver who has already achieved a lot of success at a young age," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. "Joey is a great fit for our organization and we look forward to building on his success as he takes his place behind the wheel of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford."
    "We welcome Joey Logano to the Shell-Pennzoil team, and we know he will do a great job representing our brands and Penske Racing in 2013 and beyond," said Lisa Davis, president, Shell Lubricants Americas. "Joey is clearly a special talent on the race track, and we look forward to working with him off the track as well."
    Logano will join Brad Keselowski, a three-time race winner and championship contender in 2012, and the #2 Miller Lite Ford team to form a potent combination for Penske Racing in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Penske Racing)(9-4-2012)

  • It's Official - Matt Kenseth signs with Joe Gibbs Racing: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that 2003 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner, Matt Kenseth, has signed with the team to drive the #20 Toyota Camry with sponsorship from Dollar General and The Home Depot starting in 2013. "We are thrilled to be able to officially announce Matt will join Joe Gibbs Racing starting at the conclusion of this season," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Everyone knows what he has accomplished in our sport as a champion and a consistent winner. He is well respected in the garage and his experience and knowledge will be extremely beneficial to our entire organization, especially Denny and Kyle." Kenseth is currently third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with a win, nine top-five and 14 top-ten finishes thus far this season. Over the course of his career he has won a total of 22 Cup races while earning 122 top-five and 223 top-ten finishes.
    "I'm excited to announce what the next chapter in my career will be," said Kenseth. "I remain totally committed to this season and working with my current team toward a championship and having this settled will only help my focus. JGR is an impressive organization with tremendous leadership and strong support from sponsors like Dollar General and The Home Depot. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to move from one great situation into another starting in 2013."(JGR), Gibbs also said during the press conference that Jason Ratcliff would remain as the crew chief for the #20 team.(9-4-2012)

  • JGR to announce Kenseth as driver next week? UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing plans to announce next Tuesday [Sept. 4th] that Matt Kenseth will be its newest driver beginning in 2013. The 2003 Sprint Cup champion will take over the #20 team driven by Joey Logano with Home Depot as his primary sponsor. JGR president J.D. Gibbs said on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway he still held out hope of re-signing Logano and adding a fourth team if sponsorship can be found. Logano is not expected to be a part of Tuesday's press conference. Logano also is a candidate for the #22 Cup team at Penske Racing. He recently said he was not interesting in a part-time Cup ride and full-time Nationwide Series ride that was one of his options at JGR. "He was OK with that until another opportunity came up," Gibbs said of Logano.(ESPN)(8-29-2012)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing will hold a press conference to announce Matt Kenseth as the driver of the #20 Toyota on Tuesday afternoon, September 4, 2012.(9-4-2012)

  • Logano sits out practices, will race Sunday: #20-Joey Logano had to sit both Cup practice sessions Saturday because of an illness. Michael McDowell, who failed to qualify for the AdvoCare 500, was still in Atlanta and agreed to take over behind the wheel for Logano to put a few miles on the #20 car. "I got some kind of stomach virus or food poisoning," Logano tweeted. "I'm hoping to be good enough to practice later." Logano added a hashtag with the phrase "nofun." Logano expects to be behind the wheel in the race, no matter what. He needs another win to possibly claim one of the two wild-card spots in the Chase for the championship.(Associated Press)(9-2-2012)

  • Penske says Logao a candidate for the #22 ride: The owner of Penske Racing acknowledged on Saturday that Joey Logano is a candidate to drive the #22 in 2013. Roger Penske also didn't rule out expanding from two to three cars and including Sam Hornish Jr., who has been in the #22 since AJ Allmendinger was suspended and ultimately released for violating NASCAR's substance-abuse policy, in the mix for next season. Penske said he hoped to have a decision by the Sept. 16 Chase opener at Chicagoland. Sources close to the situation said Logano, who is in the final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, is the front-runner for the #22. Logano told ESPN.com recently he has two offers for 2013, and that one was from JGR. The issue at JGR is finding a full-time sponsor. "He's obviously a candidate, but there's other good people, too, that people haven't talked about," Penske said before the Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We have a couple of rabbits." Penske would not expand on other potential candidates. Penske didn't rule out that Alliance Truck Parts, which sponsors Hornish's Nationwide car, could move up to Cup in 2013.(ESPN)(8-25-2012)

  • Gibbs says Logano's future still up in the air: #20-Joey Logano, 22, has been with JGR since he was 16. The organization has a lot invested in him and Logano has a lot invested in the organization. There are loyalty issues on both sides. But without a guarantee of sponsorship to drive a full season in 2013 and beyond, with primary sponsor Home Depot likely going to Matt Kenseth next year, the opportunity to latch on with Shell Pennzoil or another sponsor at Penske would be too good to pass up. Here's what we know: Logano has two offers on the table, including one from Gibbs. The JGR offer depends on sponsorship, and team owner Joe Gibbs said on ESPN on Wednesday that "everything is up in the air'' with Logano. Without directly addressing Kenseth, Gibbs said he hoped to be able to announce something in two weeks, which coincidentally would have the Cup series in Atlanta, the headquarters for Home Depot. Logano said last week he should have clarity in a few days to two weeks, with the two weeks now in the equation since a few days have passed. He also was noncommittal on whether he preferred to stay at JGR.(ESPN)(8-16-2012)

  • Penske hopes to name #22 2013 driver by Chicago: Roger Penske hopes to name a driver for his #22 NASCAR Sprint Cup entry [will be Ford] for the 2013 season before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins at Chicago on Sept. 16. "I've got five or six people that have contacted us," Penske said prior to the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen on Sunday. "We're going to see how Sam (Hornish Jr.) does. We have a certain amount of loyalty to him. We're trying to assess where we're at." Penske says he's pleased with Hornish's progress in the #22 Dodge. Hornish replaced AJ Allmendinger on July 7 after Allmendinger tested positive for amphetamine. Hornish has posted two top-20 finishes in the Cup car. His best result was 16th at Indianapolis. Several free agents have been mentioned as candidates for the ride, including Joey Logano and Ryan Newman, who drove for Penske prior to joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. As far Logano, who has been mentioned as a top candidate for the seat, Penske mentioned that the 22-year-old remains under contract to Joe Gibbs Racing.(FoxSports)(8-12-2012)

  • Logano says he has two offers: #20-Joey Logano is mulling offers for two full-time Sprint Cup rides next year, including one to remain at Joe Gibbs Racing, and expects to make a decision soon. "I've got a couple of offers," the 22-year-old driver said on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he was promoting fall events. "I'm just trying to decipher what's the best for me. What's going to give me the most trophies and win the most races out of? I could be fairly close (to a decision). I could be a few weeks out. It all depends on the next couple of days, actually." Logano would not discuss the name of the other organization that has made an offer. The #22 at Penske Racing has been mentioned as a possibility since AJ Allmendinger was released following his suspension for failing a drug test. Penske Racing also might be considering adding a third team next year as it moves to Ford. Sam Hornish Jr. has been named Allmendinger's replacement for the foreseeable future. "There's only so many good teams out there," Logano said when asked directly about Penske Racing. He said he is not considering a part-time Cup ride. The Cup offer at Gibbs is dependent on finding sponsorship.(in part from ESPN)(8-9-2012)

  • Kenseth can't talk about 2013 deal yet but: Matt Kenseth will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013, but according to multiple sources, the Sprint Cup points leader can't talk about it until mid- to late-August at the earliest due to a stipulation in his current contract with Roush Fenway Racing. Roush announced last month that the 2003 Sprint Cup champion was leaving after the 2012 season and would be replaced by reigning Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Kenseth confirmed at the time he has a deal for 2013, but declined to discuss details. RFR officials declined to comment on any portion of Kenseth's contract. Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs declined on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to comment on Kenseth's situation. But Gibbs said the goal was to have four teams in 2013, and that every effort was being made to re-sign Joey Logano, whose contract expires after this season, if sponsorship can be found. "We want him to retire at JGR," Gibbs said. "We're trying to figure out how to make all of that work." Sources said Kenseth would take over the Home Depot and likely Dollar General sponsors currently on Logano's #20 Toyota. They left open the possibility of Kenseth running the #20 or another number. Sources said JGR has looked at several options for Logano, from running a full-time Nationwide schedule and part-time Cup schedule to running a full-time Cup schedule with a part-time or full-time Nationwide slate. "We've talked a number of different potentials, but obviously we'd like him to be in Cup full-time," Gibbs said. Logano also has been shopping for other options in 2013. The #22 car at Penske Racing could become one spot with driver AJ Allmendinger indefinitely suspended for violating NASCAR's drug policy. Kenseth isn't talking to anybody, at least not about his future after Roush. "No," he recently said when asked if he could shed light on his 2013 plans. "I hoped to do it a couple of weeks ago. I don' t know when it's gonna happen. You guys will know the same time I do, I guess."(ESPN)(7-30-2012)

  • Dollar General and partners on the #20 at Indy: Dollar General vendor partners Ragu, Delsym, Huggies, STP, Colgate, Slim Jim, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Today and Always, Glad and Gildan will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing's #No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (JGR), see images of the car on the #20 Team Schemes page.(7-26-2012)

  • Logano's quotes on future: from a Toyota Notes & Quotes Transcript:
    Q) Do you feel more pressure to make the Chase or from the uncertainty of your future?
    Logano: "I think you feel pressure from both ends. You want to be able to focus 100 percent on what you're doing -- right now, trying to make the Chase. During the week, we're trying to figure out what my future is going to be and I'm trying to prepare myself for the weekend and then when we get here, I put all that stuff in the back of my mind and then focus 100 percent on what I have going on this weekend in trying to win a race. I say it all the time -- winning races will make all the other stuff come along a lot quicker. We're getting there slowly but surely."
    Q) Do you feel like you control your destiny more to make the Chase or determine your future? Logano: "I don't know. Obviously, racing itself on one side of it out there on the race track, you can only control so much of your destiny out there, but you can control it quite a bit. If you can control it on the racing side, you can control it on the other side too. As long as I keep doing what we've been doing on the race track with all the top-10s we've got and top-fives and with that win -- being near that Chase spot makes you want it a little bit more. We have to keep working on that."
    Q) Have you made contact with Penske Racing for next season?
    Logano: "Obviously, right now we look at all our options out there in trying to do whatever we can do to have the best opportunity for my future. That's talking to as many people as we can and seeing what's available."(Toyota Notes & Quotes)(7-13-2012)

  • Kenseth remains mum on team switch: For nearly two weeks, #17-Matt Kenseth has been hounded by one question. And moments after guiding his Harley-Davidson into Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday afternoon, the NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader heard it again. Now that his profitable 14-year partnership with car owner Jack Roush is over, just what team will Kenseth drive for next season? Once again, Kenseth deftly danced around the answer. "We've been together forever with Roush," Kenseth said. "Three or four years ago we made a commitment to race together through 2012. That never got extended through 2013, so we will just race as hard as we can until the end of this season." The hottest rumor involves Kenseth landing at Joe Gibbs Racing. Meanwhile, defending Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will replace Kenseth in the familiar #17 Ford next season. Kenseth was in Bristol Tuesday as part of the NASCAR Winner's Circle program to promote the IRWIN Tools Night Race at BMS on Aug. 25. Along with NASCAR television personality Kyle Petty, Kenseth rode his motorcycle from Smokies Park in Sevierville to BMS with members of Rolling Thunder, a group made up mostly of military veterans. Rolling Thunder's purpose is to bring awareness to those military members who were prisoners of war or are missing in action. The 40-year-old Kenseth refused to offer any hints as to his future place of employment. He added that he hasn't discussed the issue with fellow competitors. "I really haven't talked to anyone about it, except for the parties involved," Kenseth said. "After Roush put the release out that I wasn't going to be back in 2013 and I got through last weekend, it was almost a relief in a way because the last two or three months have been somewhat stressful. I wasn't sure what I was going to do and what was going to happen. With all that being out there now, I can just concentrate on the season." #24-Jeff Gordon, who has been affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports since 1993, is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver who has a longer partnership than Kenseth and Roush.(Bristol Herald Courier)
    BUT am hearing the Kenseth will be in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Home Depot and Dollar Genreal as the primary co-sponsors. Current driver Joey Logano could end up in a 4th JGR Toyota or could head elsewhere, such as the #22 Penske Racing Ford if A.J. Allmendinger doesn't return to that ride in 2013.(7-11-2012)

  • Logano says no change in his status: UPDATE: #20-Joey Logano didn't know anything more about his 2013 plans Friday than he did Tuesday morning before Roush Fenway Racing announced that Matt Kenseth was leaving its organization. Kenseth is expected to join Joe Gibbs Racing, either in a fourth car or as a replacement for Logano, who does not have a contract for next year. "I've heard nothing new," Logano said following qualifying at Kentucky Speedway. "We're still up in the air on a lot of things." Team president J.D. Gibbs said Wednesday that he would like Logano to remain at JGR long term but the sides don't have a deal done for 2013. Gibbs declined to discuss whether Kenseth was joining the organization. "We want (Logano) to be here forever," Gibbs said Wednesday. "That's kind of what we're working on. Until you have stuff laid out (and can say), 'Here's the plan,' it's not really worth talking about."(Sporting News)(6-30-2012)
    UPDATE: Amid news of a contract extension for Denny Hamlin and speculation swirling around Matt Kenseth's possible arrival at Joe Gibbs Racing next year, team owner Joe Gibbs said Saturday at Kentucky Speedway that his top priority was re-signing Joey Logano. "We're working real hard right now on extending him and his relationship with us," Gibbs said Friday after the drivers' meeting for Saturday night's Quaker State 400. "We've had a great relationship -- signed him when he was 15. We've got a lot invested in Joey. I think right now he's stepping up, and we want him to be with us." Asked whether sponsor Home Depot would continue to be part of the equation, Gibbs told the NASCAR Wire Service, "I think part of what we've got going on with us right now -- there's a lot going on. So the things I talked about . . . Joey, we want to get that done. Everything else is kind of up in the air for us right now."(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-1-2012)

  • Kenseth leaving Roush: UPDATES: #17-Matt Kenseth declined to discuss his future with Roush Fenway Racing before Sunday's race at Sonoma, where there was rampant speculation he's been talking to other race teams. Kenseth acts as his own agent, and has been with Roush his entire career. But his #17 Ford has limited sponsorship, and team owner Jack Roush has been paying out of his own pocket to ensure Kenseth runs a full season. "You know I don't talk about my contract," Kenseth said. "I'd like to have something to tell you, but I don't have anything to talk about right now. Until I have something to announce, I don't talk about it."
    Everybody else was talking, though, and Kenseth's name this weekend was linked to both Joe Gibbs Racing, a Toyota team, and Penske Racing, which is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Kenseth is a longtime Ford driver. JGR team president J.D. Gibbs declined to discuss any possible negotiations with Kenseth. JGR not only has room for expansion to a fourth car, but Joey Logano's status as driver of the #20 is currently unresolved. Logano is in the final year of his contract. "I'm not allowed to talk," he said.
    Roger Penske was not at Sunday's race, but senior vice president of Penske Corp., Bud Denker said the team is not talking to Kenseth and is content with AJ Allmendinger in the #22. "Our expectations are that AJ will be in the car and Todd (Gordon) will be the crew chief next year," Denker said. "So we are not talking to Matt, that's confirmed." The Penske move to Ford has led to talk the organization could be a potential home for Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who are both in long-term contracts with Roush but are stymied because of sponsorship woes.(ESPN/Associated Press)(6-24-2012)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announced that 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will compete for the team full-time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition beginning in 2013, while Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway will part ways at the conclusion of the 2012 season. "Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has more than proved his abilities on the race track," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "We feel that he is not only a key piece of our team's future, but a key piece of the future of the sport. Roush Fenway is an organization with a wonderful past and present, as well as an extremely promising future, and I can't think of a better candidate than Ricky to usher in the next era of success for the team. Of course, I'd like to thank Matt Kenseth for his many years of loyal service," added Roush. "Matt has been an integral part of this organization for well over a decade, and we are extremely appreciative of his accomplishments and contributions to the team, and will always consider him a part of the Roush Fenway family."(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-26-2012)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Ford's Jamie Allison, "All of us at Ford are certainly disappointed to hear that Matt will be leaving, and he will be certainly missed by us and the Ford Racing fans. We are thankful for Matt's winning efforts and championship-caliber success with the Roush and Ford racing programs these past 16 years, both on and off the track. We will focus on this year and look forward to more success on the track in his #17 Ford Fusion this season."(Ford Racing)(6-27-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark said Roush Fenway's likely 2013 scenario would be for the organization to have three Cup teams with #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle and Stenhouse while Trevor Bayne, who currently runs a part-time Cup schedule for Wood Brothers Racing and select Nationwide races for Roush Fenway, would replace Stenhouse in the team's full-time Nationwide car. Whether current Kenseth crew chief Jimmy Fennig will be Stenhouse's crew chief is still to be determined, Newmark said.(Sporting News)(6-27-2012)
    UPDATE 4: Matt Kenseth has a Sprint Cup ride in place for 2013 and beyond, the NASCAR point leader from Cambridge told the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday in his first print media interview since announcing he would leave Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. When that deal is announced is undetermined, Kenseth said. The decision to leave was made in a meeting last week with team owner Jack Roush, Kenseth said. "There's a lot of stuff through the season that's probably led us to this point," Kenseth said. "There isn't really a smoking gun, there really isn't an inside story about a firing or an argument or really any of that. At the end of the day, I had an opportunity to go try something else. The timing all worked out. I think everything happens for a reason. Things just kind of lined up to maybe try something else in 2013 and beyond that I'm kind of excited about.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(6-27-2012)

  • JGR working on engine issues: Joe Gibbs Racing experienced some highs and lows at Pocono Raceway a week ago with #20-Joey Logano winning the race but teammate #18-Kyle Busch suffering engine failure. On Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, it was all lows. Busch suffered another engine failure. #11-Denny Hamlin was involved in a wreck and then had to escape a fire when his car went up in flames. And Logano also crashed. On the day, Busch was 32nd, Hamlin 34th and Logano 35th. "I keep thinking to myself, I'm looking for something easy (to do) and I'm running out of time," said team owner Joe Gibbs, a retired NFL coach. "This certainly isn't it. It was a tough day for us." For Busch, it was his third engine issue in as many weeks. JGR merged its engine department with Toyota Racing Development after last season. All the engines are built at TRD in California and then shipped to JGR, which handles the final tuning and race weekend management. Busch's problems haven't been the same issue each week, but that can be even more exasperating for the team as it tries to fix multiple issues. Gibbs said the team knew what happened to the engines at Dover and Pocono.(Sporting News)(6-20-2012)

  • JGR wants to keep Joey Logano: Joe Gibbs doesn't have any plans to let #20-Joey Logano go after this season. Gibbs said before Sunday's rain-delayed Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway that he planned to re-sign the 22-year-old driver, whose contract with Joe Gibbs Racing expires after this season. "Obviously, we've been together for a long time," Gibbs said. "We've got a lot invested. He's our guy and we plan on going forward ... right now in the 20 car."(ESPN)(6-18-2012)

  • Logano's future still up in the air despite win: #20-Joey Logano delivered many answers in muscling past #55-Mark Martin to win Sunday's Pocono 400. But there was one significant question that is unanswered as the Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway. Where will Logano be driving next season? "I haven't been informed on where I stand for next year yet, so it's all up in the air," he said. "Obviously winning a race means a lot, and it helps that out a ton. For sure right now my future is not set with anybody. To get this win means a lot. It's at a perfect time."
    Though he is enjoying his best year in NASCAR's premier series, it might not be guaranteed that Logano returns to Joe Gibbs Racing for a fifth season. Pocono was the second victory in a career that has fallen far short of lofty expectations that accompanied his 2009 debut as the youngest driver in Daytona 500 history. Since he saw Logano race against his son in go-karts a decade ago, Martin had been predicting greatness for Logano and named him as the best candidate to replace him at Roush Fenway Racing when Logano was 15. It hasn't turned out that way in Cup. Logano finished 20th in points as a rookie and became the youngest winner in Cup history (at 19) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a fluky rain-shortened finish. (Logano was leading because he had crashed and was able to stay purposely off-sequence on pit stops).
    Though J.D. Gibbs recently downplayed interest in Kurt Busch, there are other winning drivers who could be available in 2013, such as Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. In a phone interview Monday night, Gibbs told USA TODAY Sports that JGR hoped to settle the future of its #20 Toyota "sooner than later, but at the same time, you can't force things. "We're kind of going through it now," Gibbs said. "(The victory) really helps him, us just in general. (Sponsors) Home Depot and Dollar General get a feel for it. So hopefully we'll be able to get something put to bed here pretty quick. He's been so close before, it's just a long time coming. So hopefully that was a great foundation for our future. When you have those sponsors, you have to perform. Not just on the track, but off the track. Joey is great off the track, and now it's neat to see the on-the-track piece pick up, too."(USA Today)(6-13-2012)

  • Logano wins at Pocono: #20-Joey Logano won the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 1st win of the year and his 2nd career win.
    #55-Martin finished 2nd followed by #14-Stewart, #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #15-Bowyer, #17-Kenseth, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #27-Menard, and #1-McMurray
    There were 7 cautions for 35 yellow flag laps. The race speed average was 131.004mph. There were 21 lead changes among 10 drivers.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Pocono Race Results page (pdf).(6-10-2012)

  • Could Kurt Busch join brother Kyle at Joe Gibbs Racing? #51-Kurt Busch is a free agent, and his brother, #18-Kyle, already drives a Cup car for Joe Gibbs Racing. While it might sound like a stretch for JGR to employ two brothers as drivers, it's not out of the question. JGR has room to add a fourth team, and if sponsorship is found, team owner Joe Gibbs wouldn't rule out the possibility. But he also said it has to be the right sponsor. "We love Kurt, mainly because of Kyle and Kyle has got a strong feeling for him," Gibbs said following the unveiling of Toyota's 2013 Sprint Cup car. "Kurt's kind of going through a process with everything he has got going right now. Everybody throws everything out there. We do have a fourth car possibility at some point. But we haven't seen that yet (come to fruition)." The older of the two Busch brothers, Kurt is driving for Phoenix Racing in Cup this year and for his brother's Kyle Busch Motorsports in an 18-race Nationwide schedule. "He could really helps us and lead us in the right direction," Kyle Busch said. "I'd love to have him over here. It would be great for Joe Gibbs Racing and for us to work together and to be able to make better racecars, faster racecars." JGR wouldn't necessarily need a fourth Cup team to add Busch. #20-Joey Logano's contract is up for renewal after this season in a car co-sponsored by The Home Depot and Dollar General. "He's 21 years old," Gibbs said. "He's one of the youngest guys out there. He's stepped up this year to 15th in points. That's been an improvement but he's still not where our other two cars are. That's the goalget him to where our other two cars are. & We have a lot invested in Joey. We really like him."(Sporting News)(5-25-2012)

  • JTG & JGR also re-sign with Toyota: Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing announced new multiyear extensions with Toyota on Tuesday. Lee White, the president of Toyota Racing Development, said all three teams will be with Toyota "for a long time to come." The announcement was made at TRD's Salisbury, N.C., shop where the re-designed 2013 Camry was introduced. It came amid speculation that Dodge, which loses anchor Penske Racing to Ford after this season, might target JGR. White admitted that one of Toyota's organizations was "ripe for the picking by one of our fellow manufacturers." "All have agreements with Toyota and TRD that extend beyond two more years," White said. "Rest assured, we enjoy our partners, we value our partners, and we expect to be competing with our partners on this dance floor for a long time." JGR owner Joe Gibbs said he never had conversations with Dodge.(ESPN)(5-23-2012)

  • JGR close to extension with Toyota: Joe Gibbs Racing plans to sign a long-term extension with Toyota within the next month, ending any speculation it could move to Dodge. "We're working on that," JGR president J.D. Gibbs told ESPN.com on Sunday after Denny Hamlin's victory at Kansas Speedway. "We'll be with Toyota for a long time to come." Dodge has been looking for a team to anchor its 2013 program since Penske Racing announced earlier this year it would leave the manufacturer for Ford next season. JGR, since its contract with Toyota is up after this season and because the organization has the infrastructure to build its own engines, became a natural target. Gibbs said that is not a consideration (ESPN)(4-23-2012)

  • Several treated for smoke inhalation at Joe Gibbs Racing: Several people were treated for smoke inhalation at Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville Tuesday afternoon, officials said. According to Huntersville police, some machinery at the racing compound caught fire. Firefighters were called in to battle the blaze around 2:45 p.m. The fire is under control, fire officials said. Medic officials said units responded to the fire, but had not yet transported anyone. No one has commented on what caused the fire or how much damage was done as a result of the fire. Almost a year ago, a similar fire happened at the facility that caused two people to be treated for smoke inhalation. According to officials, the 2011 fire started in an engine dyno during a test.(WSOC)(1-31-2012)
    UPDATE: A piece of equipment in the machine shop caught fire today at our Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, NC. The fire department was called and the fire was quickly contained and extinguished. A few of our employees received treatment on site for issues related to smoke inhalation. All employees were able to return to work within the hour to continue preparations for the 2012 NASCAR season.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-31-2012)

  • Logano also seeing sports psychologist: Since last season, JGR driver #20-Joey Logano has been seeing sports psychologist Bob Rotella, who also began working with Hamlin last year. "I was against it at first, thinking, 'I don't need a shrink,'" Logano said. "But it's not about that, it's confidence. It's not that you're screwed up in the head. It's not like you're a weirdo. I think it's good for anybody. I have a whole new outlook. I'd recommend it to anybody."(USA Today)(1-24-2012)

  • Several drivers getting new spotters: In addition to getting adjusted to new personnel on their teams, several drivers will be working with new spotters when testing opens Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. Jeff Dickerson, who has spotted for #24-Jeff Gordon the last couple of years, left to pursue an opportunity in racing that will give him more time with his family. He has not announced where he is going.
    • Eddie D'Hondt, who had won 39 races across all NASCAR series with #18-Kyle Busch, will move to Hendrick Motorsports to work as Gordon's spotter.
    • Todd Hirschman, who was spotter for AJ Allmendinger, will replace D'Hondt as Busch's spotter.
    • Busch isn't the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to have a new spotter for 2012 as two spotters whose drivers have not announced 2012 rides have found new gigs - Chris Lambert, who was the spotter for Brian Vickers, will replace Curtis Markham as spotter for #11-Denny Hamlin and Rocky Ryan, who was spotter for David Ragan, will replace Joey Civali as spotter for #20-Joey Logano.
    • Chris Osborne, who was spotter for Kurt Busch at Penske Racing, will start the season spotting for Allmendinger while Busch will use his new boss - Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll - as his spotter.
    • #15-Clint Bowyer, who has moved from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing, will go to the test with MWR general manager Ty Norris as his spotter.
    • Kevin Hamlin, who was Bowyer's spotter, will remain at RCR and work with Ty Dillon in the Camping World Truck Series.
    • #43-Aric Almirola will use Tyler Green as his spotter. Green spotted for Almirola at JR Motorsports and will now spot for him at RPM.(Scene Daily)(1-11-2012)

2011 News

  • New Crew Chief for Logano: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that Jason Ratcliff has been named crew chief for its #20 Sprint Cup Series team, replacing Greg Zipadelli who is leaving the organization to pursue an opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing [Competition Director]. "We appreciate everything Greg has done for us here at Joe Gibbs Racing. He has been a big part of our success, but we felt the timing was right to make this transition for our race team which allows Greg the opportunity to pursue a director of competition position with Tony (Stewart)," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We also felt that the timing was right to bring Jason (Ratcliff) to our Cup operation. He is a proven leader with a tremendous track record in our Nationwide program and we think he and Joey will work well together."
    Ratcliff spent the previous seven years as crew chief for JGR's #18 Nationwide Series team. No team has been better over the past three seasons as the team won two consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner's Championships in 2009 and 2010. They narrowly missed out on a third consecutive title this past season finishing just a few points off the pace in second. Over the past three seasons JGR's #18 Nationwide Series team has won an incredible 30 races, with 68 top-five, and 85 top-ten finishes. In addition, they have led an astonishing 6,124 laps over that time.
    "I'm excited about the opportunity to join our Cup operation and work with Joey and everyone on the 20 team," said Ratcliff. "There is a great history with this program and we have two of the best sponsors in the sport with The Home Depot and Dollar General. I've had the opportunity to work with Joey a few times now on the Nationwide side so there is a familiarity there, but I'm looking forward to getting started fulltime and working alongside Dave (Rogers) and Darian (Grubb)."
    Zipadelli has been the crew chief for JGR's No. 20 program since the team was formed in 1999. Over the 13-year span he has won 33 total races and two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships with driver Tony Stewart (2002 and 2005). He was also on top of the pit box for Joey Logano's first career victory in 2009 which made him the youngest driver ever to win on the Cup level. Zipadelli is leaving JGR to pursue an opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(12-16-2011)

  • Zippy back with Stewart? UPDATE 3: hearing that Greg Zipadelli, currently the crew chief for #20-Joe Logano, could be headed to Stewart-Haas Racing in the future. Greg Zipadelli would take over as the crew chief for #14-Tony Stewart, who he won two Sprint Cup titles with [2002, 2005]. Current #14 crew chief, Darian Grubb, would move into Bobby Hutchens old position of director of competition [NOTE: Grubb didn't and left the team and is now at JGR as #11-Hamlin's crew chief]. Hutchens and Stewart-Haas recently parted ways. Hutchins was Stewart-Haas Racing's Director of Competition and Stewart said they are looking for a replacement. Matt Borland was promoted to vice president of competition and is serving as Stewart-Haas Racing's interim director of competition. Stewart said recently that "once that position is filled, the director of competition will report to Matt."(6-21-2011)
    See past denials and news on my #20 Team News page.
    UPDATE 3 - Zipadelli Named Competition Director for Stewart-Haas Racing: Greg Zipadelli, winner of two championships and 34 victories as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been named competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). He will work with Vice President of Competition Matt Borland and oversee the #14 and #39 teams, while also building the #10 team for which Danica Patrick will run a 10-race Sprint Cup schedule with in 2012. Zipadelli comes to SHR from Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) where he served as crew chief for the #20 team since 1999. It's where the 44-year-old from Berlin, Conn., began a 10-year tenure with Tony Stewart, the co-owner of SHR along with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. From 1999 through 2008, Zipadelli was Stewart's crew chief, with the duo winning Sprint Cup titles in 2002 and 2005 while claiming 33 victories and 10 poles. When Stewart left JGR following the 2008 season to form SHR, Zipadelli stayed and spent three years as the crew chief for Joey Logano, where he helped deliver Logano's first career Sprint Cup victory on June 28, 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. "We're very proud to have Greg Zipadelli join Stewart-Haas Racing," said Stewart, the three-time and reigning Sprint Cup champion. "Greg and I have a long and successful history together. I know him and he knows me, and we both know what it takes to build race teams. We took our time in searching for a competition director because it's an important role with a lot of responsibility. Greg knows all that goes into the job, understands the importance of teamwork and communication across all levels of the organization, and is ultimately someone I have a great deal of trust in."
    The addition of Zipadelli to the SHR family is a reunion on two fronts  Stewart, of course, but also with Steve Addington, who spent 2004-2008 at JGR and is now Stewart's crew chief at SHR with the #14 team. (Tony Gibson serves as crew chief for the #39 team and driver Ryan Newman.)
    "Joe Gibbs always says that you win with people, and Tony Stewart is a winner," Zipadelli said. "We won a lot together at Joe Gibbs Racing, and it was a sad day when he left. But Tony had an unbelievable opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing, and he's obviously made the most of it. To become a part of what he's already built, but to do it in a new role with a new set of responsibilities, was a challenge I wanted. I really appreciate Joe and J.D. Gibbs for all that that they've given me over the years and for allowing me to seize this opportunity."
    Zipadelli's career began humbly. His first job in racing was working on a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owned by his uncle at age seven, and by age 14, he was preparing racecars for his family-owned Sherwood Racing Team. By the time he was 20, Zipadelli was a championship-winning crew chief, leading Modified Tour driver Mike McLaughlin to the series title on the heels of five wins and 15 top-five finishes. When McLaughlin moved up to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with prominent New England car owner Mike Greci, Zipadelli followed and the tandem recorded five wins between 1990 and 1993.
    McLaughlin departed Greci's operation at the end of the 1993 season, but Zipadelli stayed with the team and worked with a handful of drivers in 1994 and 1995. Zipadelli's perseverance paid off in 1996 when driver Mike Stefanik joined the team. While no wins were recorded that year, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes made way for a championship season in 1997. Stefanik marched to the series title that year riding a wave of consistency with two wins, 14 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes, giving Zipadelli his second NASCAR touring series championship in less than a decade.
    With two championship rings before age 30, Zipadelli headed south in January 1998 to join Roush Fenway Racing's Sprint Cup operation as the chassis specialist for the No. 99 team of then driver Jeff Burton. As Burton won two races, earned 18 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes and finished fifth in points, Zipadelli's talent was noticed. In late 1998 when team owner Joe Gibbs began laying the groundwork for a second team with Stewart behind the wheel, he tabbed Zipadelli to be the No. 20 team's crew chief. Now, after 13 highly successful years at JGR, Zipadelli's career ascension continues with his new role as competition director at SHR.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(12-16-2011)

  • Keselowski, Logano Visit Guantanamo Bay On NASCAR/USO Tour: #2-Brad Keselowski and #20-Joey Logano, brought holiday cheer, smiles and good times to troops and their families on the NASCAR-USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during their NASCAR-USO visit Dec. 12-14. The tour of Guantanamo Bay was part of an ongoing partnership between NASCAR and the USO to strengthen a connection between the military and motorsports in an effort to help boost the morale of U.S. troops and their families stationed around the world. The partnership also included NASCAR and the USO hosting a group of wounded warriors at the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. During the visit, Keselowski and Logano visited hundreds of sailors and coast guardsmen and their families. The pair also dined with troops, visited the U.S. Navy Hospital, signed autographs and patrolled the waters with service members. This was the first USO tour for Keselowski and Logano, who are avid supporters of the military community. Both have visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, now known as Walter Reed National Medical Center, and spent quality time with wounded warriors.
    "This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so glad to be a part of it," said Keselowski. "I hope to go back on another USO Tour. After meeting the men and women in Guantanamo Bay, I cannot imagine the sacrifices and experiences they have to go through during their time there. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful that I was invited to go."
    "It was awesome to learn more about Guantanamo Bay and what the mission is down there and how it works," said Logano. "It was great to meet and talk to the troops, and it was one heck of an experience. We get to see a lot of troops at the race track, but to see them in action and doing their jobs&I am so impressed and have such a high amount of respect for each and every one of them and what they do."
    "NASCAR is honored to work with the USO and be a part of bringing this tour to our men and women in Guantanamo Bay," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "We hope this tour has lifted the spirits of troops and their families; we are honored to have the opportunity to show our support and show how much our troops mean to NASCAR and its millions of fans around the world."
    "NASCAR and its drivers bring excitement to the track week after week and we are honored to have two of NASCAR's biggest names join us on a USO tour," said USO President Sloan Gibson. "I can't think of a better, more suitable place for this tour to bring a touch of home than to NASCAR fans stationed in Guantanamo Bay."(NASCAR), see quotes on the #2 Team News page.(12-15-2011)

  • Logano & Brad Keselowski to Visit Troops & Families at Guantanamo Bay: #20-Joey Logano and #2-Brad Keselowski, are scheduled to be part of a NASCAR-USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Dec. 12-14. As part of the NASCAR-USO trip, Logano and Keselowski will share stories of life on the track, sign autographs, pose for photos and spread holiday cheer to hundreds of troops and military families. Logano and Keselowski have participated in charitable races benefiting America's Armed Forces and are avid supporters of the military community. Both drivers have also visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, now known as Walter Reed National Medical Center, and spent quality time with wounded warriors. This tour of Guantanamo Bay is part of an ongoing partnership between NASCAR and the USO to strengthen a connection to the military and help boost the morale of U.S. troops and their families stationed around the world.
    Joey Logano: "I jump at every chance I get to show my appreciation to our nation's Armed Forces and I look forward to my upcoming USO trip to Guantanamo Bay. Our service men and women and their families are doing an amazing job."
    Brad Keselowski: "Traveling with the USO and getting the chance to spend time with our troops is something I wish everyone could do. To see what they do day-in and day-out and hear their stories is an opportunity of a lifetime and something I will never forget."(NASCAR)(12-10-2011)

  • Zipadelli unable to get release from Gibbs? Darian Grubb's future with the Stewart-Haas, if any is unknown, although the Competition Director position remains unfilled. Greg Zipadelli [crew chief for #20-Joey Logano], according to several sources has been the frontrunner for that job but has been unable to secure a release from his Joe Gibbs Racing contract. Signed through 2012, those sources say the former crew chief for Stewart and current head wrench for Joey Logano has met with strong internal opposition from J.D. Gibbs to secure his release.(Frontstretch)(11-28-2011)

  • Interstate Batteries on the #20 at Martinsville: Joey Logano was less than a year old when Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller and Joe Gibbs Racing kicked off what has grown to become one of the longest-running and most successful partnerships in all of NASCAR back in 1991. As Interstate and JGR celebrate their 20th anniversary together in 2011, perhaps it's only fitting that the familiar green, white and black paint scheme first made famous by legendary driving greats Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte on JGR's #18 racecars finally adorns JGR's #20 racing machine for the first time in Sprint Cup Series competition before season's end. While Logano's JGR teammate Kyle Busch and his #18 Toyota Camry have carried the flag for Interstate during the last four Sprint Cup Series seasons, it'll be Logano's turn to represent the longtime JGR sponsor for the first time during Sunday's TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway behind the wheel of the #20 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry.(TrueSpeed Communications)(10-27-2011)

  • "Man vs. Food Nation" NASCAR episode: The "Man vs. Food Nation" episode filmed at Sticky Lips in Rochester will air on October 19 at 9 pm/et. The show, hosted by Adam Richman, is aired on the Travel Channel. It features Richman across the country, visiting local restaurants and then taking on a challenge at one of the restaurants. The October 19 show will be a NASCAR episode. Richman will coach #20-Joey Logano through a food competition of his own following the big race at Watkins Glen International. Logano will take on the "Atomic Bomb Challenge" at Sticky Lips which includes a three-pound bacon double cheeseburger loaded with pulled pork and meaty hot sauce over an additional pound of fries.(WHEC-TV)(10-19-2011)

  • JGR expects Zipadelli to stay: J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, says his organization has had "conversations" about the future role of Greg Zipadelli but that a change in his role as crew chief for driver Joey Logano "has not come up." "We've had those conversations. But I think right now, the 20 car needs to run well. That makes it a lot easier across the board." Gibbs said he expects the Logano-Zipadelli combination to remain intact. "We don't have a crystal ball, but that's kind of what our agreement is," Gibbs said.(Scene Daily)(10-15-2011)

  • Dollar General leaves Turner Motorsports; headed to JGR? UPDATE - Official: Turner Motorsports announced Tuesday that Reed Sorenson, who is currently third in the Nationwide Series standings, is out as driver of the #32 Dollar General Chevy. Brian Vickers will assume driving duties from Sorenson beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Turner offered no reason why Sorenson has been sidelined despite the driver currently sitting third in the Nationwide Series points standings. "I'm pretty confused right now," Sorenson said. "I really don't know what's going on right now. I'm trying to figure some stuff out and get through this weekend. It's hard on me, it's hard on the guys that work on this car and where we finish in points. So it's a bad deal." The announcement comes on the same day that Turner Motorsports acknowledged that Dollar General was leaving at the end of the year. Dollar General is expected to be a limited sponsor on one of Joe Gibbs Racing's Sprint Cup cars and as a primary sponsor in the Nationwide Series. Calls to J.D. Gibbs were not returned.(FoxSports)(10-5-2011)
    UPDATE: The sponsorship picture at Joe Gibbs Racing is set to undergo a vast change next season. At a news conference Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dollar General is expected to announce will greatly increase its involvement in NASCAR, sponsoring both Sprint Cup and Nationwide series teams at JGR in 2012. Among the changes:
    - Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on driver Joey Logano's #20 Toyota in the Cup series for 10 to 12 races in 2012.
    - Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on JGR's #11 Nationwide Series team driven by Brian Scott.
    - The company will also be the primary sponsor for several races for JGR's #18 and #20 Nationwide teams.
    Dollar General will likely also continue its involvement with the Truck series team owned by JGR driver Kyle Busch, sources said. A JGR spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday when asked about the sponsorship changes. The move means Home Depot, which has been a primary sponsor in the Cup series with JGR since 1999, will relinquish roughly a third of the races on the #20 next season.(Charlotte Observer)(10-11-2011)
    UPDATE: Dollar General announced its new sponsorship agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing that includes contenders in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series in 2012. Dollar General also announced plans to continue its Camping World Truck Series sponsorship with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2012. Dollar General will become the primary sponsor of JGR's #20 Toyota Camry, driven by Joey Logano, for 12 Sprint Cup races. In addition, Dollar General will be the primary sponsor of JGR's #11 Toyota, driven by Brian Scott, for a full season in the Nationwide Series. In 10 Nationwide races, Dollar General will also support an additional JGR car, either #18 driven by Kyle Busch or #20 driven by Logano. In the Camping World Truck Series, Dollar General will return for 10 races with KBM. The #18 truck will be driven by Busch.(Dollar General PR)(10-13-2011)

  • 5-Hour Energy to the #33? Home Depot to the #99? Clint Bowyer would like nothing more than to extend his contract with Richard Childress Racing but despite both the driver and owner publicly admitting their desire to remain together, nothing has been announced. The reported hold-up is around finding necessary sponsorship for the RCR #33 entry, which will lose General Mills at the end of this season. Current Steven Wallace Nationwide Series sponsor 5-Hour Energy continues to be in the mix as a potential replacement but right now there is no agreement.
    AND: Aflac is expected back in a limited role but the Michigan garage area was rampant with rumors Home Depot, who reportedly coveted having Edwards as its spokesperson had me made the move to Joe Gibbs Racing, might find its way to the #99 car. The home improvement giant has been a staple of the JGR sponsor stable for years, dating back to its two Sprint Cup championships with Tony Stewart. However since Joey Logano took over the ride from the departed Stewart, the struggling performance level for the young driver has forced Home Depot management to watch arch rival Lowes grab the spotlight for five years running with Jimmie Johnson's title runs.(CBS Sports)(8-25-2011)

  • Bowyer talking to other teams: #33-Clint Bowyer is seriously considering offers from one or more Sprint Cup teams to leave Richard Childress Racing -- his home since making his series debut in 2005 -- following the 2011 season. Bowyer talked openly of his desire to remain at RCR earlier this season, but negotiations have dragged and, according to multiple sources, deteriorated. "They are at loggerheads right now," a source said. Discussions between Bowyer and team owner Richard Childress have been complicated by the lack of a primary sponsor for the #33 Chevrolet. For the past three seasons General Mills brands Cheerios and Hamburger Helper have been that sponsor. Childress had expressed confidence that General Mills would return a month ago, but it's now believed the company is looking at other options. With #99-Carl Edwards off the market, Bowyer is the top free agent available. In addition to Childress, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing are said to be interested in hiring Bowyer.
    Petty has been pursuing Bowyer for several months in an attempt to expand to a three-car operation. Chief operating officer Robbie Loomis has been diligently working to put together a package for Bowyer that includes a Ford-backed deal similar to the Wood Brothers. Petty buys chassis from Roush Fenway and leases engines from Roush-Yates and the equipment may be attractive to Bowyer.
    Waltrip also would like to expand to three cars and may have some support from Toyota to acquire Bowyer.
    David Ragan seemed safe at Roush Fenway after his win at Daytona in July. It put him in the Chase, but he's since fallen out. Ragan, 23rd in points, needs a second victory to make the Chase. He's under contract to Roush Fenway for next season, but the team could move him to Petty and sign Bowyer.
    Gibbs president J.D. Gibbs has said that a fourth car for next season was a "long shot." Its earlier attempt to sign Edwards was financially backed by Toyota. The manufacturer would have to spend less money to land Bowyer, but it certainly could outbid the other offers.
    Childress should not be counted out. He has shown the ability to be resourceful in retaining drivers and finding sponsors. Negotiations between Bowyer and Childress are at a critical stage and the atmosphere isn't healthy. The overall situation regarding Bowyer's next contract is said to be "sensitive." Bowyer probably would like to make a decision as soon as possible to remove the uncertainty and distraction that comes with it. He'd much rather focus on making the Chase than worry about whom he'll be driving for next year.(Sports Illustrated)(8-19-2011)

  • Gibbs fourth team "a long shot": Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs said plans for a fourth Sprint Cup team were not necessarily derailed when Carl Edwards opted to remain with Roush Fenway Racing, rather than jump to JGR. "In each of the last three years, we've looked around to see what kind of things pop-up that would allow us to make (a fourth team) work," Gibbs said. "But it all has to come together. You have to have a driver, which is key. You need the right partner to sponsor the team (and) you have to have the right crew. If all that comes together, we're good to go. We can go quickly. But we've also learned that if all that doesn't come together, we're better off waiting, instead of trying to force something to go together. That's where we are right now. We can go quickly if it all lines up, and that's our hope." He admitted that a fourth Sprint Cup Series Toyota in 2012 is "probably a long shot, (since) we're not lined up with the right partners. But I also wouldn't rule it out. We don't have to plan something out six months in advance. We can cut it a little closer and make it work. We're in no hurry. There's no panic and we're not going to force it, but if the opportunity is there, we can take advantage of it quickly."(Sirius Speedway)(8-12-2011)

  • Logano in Man v. Food Nation Challenge: Giving a whole new meaning to "pulling double duty," Joey Logano will recover from 220.5 grueling miles of road course racing at Watkins Glen International on Sunday by taking a food challenge on Monday in New York for an upcoming episode of Travel Channel's Man v. Food Nation. Logano is looking forward to meeting host Adam Richman and partaking in the food challenge. Richman, who has crisscrossed the country taking on various food challenges the last three years, will serve as the Grand Marshal for Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen and will be cheering Logano on throughout Monday's shoot. Logano will learn details of the challenge shortly before the shoot on Monday and his fans can see the NASCAR edition of Man v. Food Nation on Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on Travel Channel.(NASCAR PR)(8-12-2011)

  • Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATE: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports: "No, they're not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines," White said. "Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world." Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Research and Development announced Thursday that they are combining their engine efforts in 2012. Officials said there is a chance that JGR cars could use engines out of TRD headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., before the end of this season, but that the focus is on next year. Economics in part drove the merger. As Lee White, the president of TRG said, "Building for three teams or less is extremely expensive and inefficient." JGR builds all of its engines while the other Toyota teams -- Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing -- receive engines from TRD. With JGR looking to expand its Nationwide presence and add a Trucks program, the merger gives the organization more flexibility. With the future of Red Bull Racing in doubt, the addition of JGR also allows TRG to maintain a full workload if Red Bull's organization folds or is moved to another manufacturer with new investors. Gibbs said JGR will maintain its engine shop in Huntersville, N.C., so that it can make any tweaks to the engines it deems necessary and to work on other projects.(ESPN.com) See earlier updates on the #18 team page.(8-11-2011)

  • NAPA to JGR? denied: Several sources have mentioned Joey Logano moving to a fourth JGR car sponsored by NAPA, the current sponsor on the #56 Toyota. When asked about NAPA's future relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing, a team principal said the contract runs through 2012 and NAPA is committed to that agreement.(FoxSports)(7-31-2011)

  • Gibbs courting Edwards? UPDATES Ford steps in to help offer to Edwards: am hearing that Carl Edwards, currently the driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, is being courted by Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the #20 Home Depot Toyota ride. Where would that leave current #20 driver, Joey Logano, to the long rumored 4th Joe Gibbs car, no word on who would be the sponsor, if it happens.(6-17-2011)
    UPDATES see past updates and notes on the Edwards news and rumors on the #99 Team News and Links page.
    Another UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards is staying focused on winning a championship despite widespread speculation that he is leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing after this season. Edwards would not comment Friday on whether he has made a decision, but he was adamant that it will not hurt his chances of winning the title regardless. "I feel like no matter what happens we have a great thing going," said Edwards, who has a seven-point lead over five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson heading into Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Jack Roush and Ford and Aflac, that is our mission right now -- to win the championship. That is all of our goals. Whatever happens, happens. But I believe that is reasonable to believe that could happen no matter what." Speculation that Edwards was headed for JGR to drive the #20 Home Depot car currently driven by Joey Logano, with Aflac following him to JGR, intensified two weeks ago at New Hampshire. Logano and crew chief Greg Zipadelli told ESPN.com that they have been given no indication that their status for next season will change. Logano said the rumors haven't been a distraction for him and his team. "If anything it is making my team work harder," Logano said. "It's making us come together more as a team. It's good. The last few weeks it's paid off. The last four weeks we have scored more points than anybody. All I've heard is rumors. No one has told me anything." Edwards would not give a timetable for making an announcement, although sources say it has to be soon so plans for next season can get under way. When asked if he had made a decision, Edwards said, "I'd just rather not say. We're working hard on the contract stuff. I've heard a lot of different ideas out there. The story remains the same -- I'm going to make a decision that is the best one I can make. I'm going to do that outside the media. Right now I have a signed contract, and that is the contract I signed in 2008 to race for Jack in '09, '10 and '11. So that is my mission. That's what I'm going to honor."(ESPN). .(7-29-2011)
    More on Edwards - Ford steps in: Ford Racing has gone to what officials call unprecedented measures to help Roush Fenway Racing keep #99-Carl Edwards from going to the Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We've helped out with an offer we have never done before for another driver,'' said Kevin Kennedy, the director of Ford Racing communication, before Saturday's qualifying for the Brickyard 400. "It was important enough for us that we were trying to make it unprecedented.'' Kennedy would not give specifics into what Ford has offered other than to say top executives in the organization have been closely involved with RFR in negotiations. "If he's around, it's something that will help him in terms of continuing to promote Ford products,'' Kennedy said of Edwards, who has become the face of Ford Racing. "We've been in racing for 110 years and I don't think we've ever done this before.'' Steve Newmark, the president of RFR, acknowledged that Ford has gone above and beyond to help keep Edwards in the fold. Newmark added that the total package offered to this year's top free agent shows just how important officials believe he is to the future of the organization and manufacturer. "I hope everybody understands Roush Fenway is very intent on signing Carl,'' Newmark said. "We understand he is trying to make a decision that is best for his future.'' Edwards declined on Friday to say whether he has made a decision amidst speculation he is headed for JGR to drive the #20 currently occupied by Joey Logano with Home Depot and Aflac as his sponsors. Newmark and Kennedy said Edwards has told them no decision has been made. Newmark added that no ultimatum or deadline for a decision will be made even though RFR wants it done sooner rather than later to prepare for next year. Sources said Edwards could earn more than $40 million over three years. Newmark said money hasn't been a major factor in RFR's negotiations. Should Edwards leave, Newmark said the replacement likely would come from in house with developmental drivers Trevor Bayne or Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He said no driver outside the organization has been contacted.(ESPN)(7-30-2011)
    DONE DEAL? Edwards says the only contract he's signed was his last one with Jack Roush three years ago. Whether there's a current contract or not, the latest scuttlebutt has Edwards driving the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012 for a staggering amount of money -- $8 million as a base, plus a $10 million signing bonus.(FoxSports)(7-31-2011)

  • Congrats: to John and Sara Royer, on the birth of their son, Mason William Royer. Mason was born at 12:22am/et on 7/28/2011 weighing in at 6lbs 12oz and was 19 3/4 inches long. John works at Joe Gibbs Racing changing tires for #20-Joey Logano #20 and Sara is an NASCAR Official.(7-30-2011)

  • Gibbs courting Edwards? UPDATES: am hearing that Carl Edwards, currently the driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, is being courted by Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the #20 Home Depot Toyota ride. Where would that leave current #20 driver, Joey Logano, to the long rumored 4th Joe Gibbs car, no word on who would be the sponsor, if it happens.(6-17-2011)
    UPDATE: Ford and Roush Fenway Racing are feeling a sense of urgency to re-sign Carl Edwards. For the last month, Edwards has been rumored to be headed to Joe Gibbs Racing. Earlier this season, JGR president J.D. Gibbs acknowledged that the organization would be interested in talking to Edwards if sponsorship could be acquired for a fourth team. Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newman called the Edwards' negotiation "a slow and steady process." Both Roush and Ford have worked diligently to entice Edwards to remain in the blue-oval camp but are starting to feel the pressure from Toyota. "We have constant conversations with Carl," Newmark said. "I still remain cautiously optimistic that we'll get something done, but as we've talked about before, the process that we're going through, we want to make sure that we have everything in order going forward and Carl's main focus is on making sure he's going to a place where he can win championships. Newmark understands that Edwards is shopping the market and "has no issue with him engaging in discussions." Now the challenge for Roush comes in offering the most competitive package for Edwards and his future. At the same time, Newmark has the challenge of locking up Roush sponsors Aflac, UPS and Crown Royal. Newmark locked down both 3M and Greg Biffle for a multi-year deal in April. Newmark is not actively seeking a replacement for Edwards -- yet. With Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse in the pipeline, there's really no need to.(Fox Sports)(6-19-2011)
    UPDATE 2: #99-Carl Edwards on Friday again declined comment on his contract status, as he has throughout the year. Edwards is in the final year of his contract with Roush Fenway Racing, and the team is also negotiating contract extensions with all of its primary sponsors except 3M, which has signed a multi-year deal to remain with the team and Greg Biffle. "As far as my contract status, it is the same as the beginning of the year," Edwards said Friday morning at Infineon Raceway. "We are working hard on it and we do all that stuff behind closed doors. We are making progress and hopefully we will be able to tell you guys what my plan is soon." Asked about the oft-repeated rumors that he would go to Joe Gibbs Racing next year to replace Joey Logano, Edwards added, "I have heard rumors about all different teams for the last two years. The thing I am going to do is keep working on it and working on it privately. I think that is the best way for me."(SPEED)(6-25-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Speculation about #99-Carl Edwards raged through in the NASCAR garage throughout the weekend, with unconfirmed reports that the stock car racing star - now back atop the Sprint Cup standings after Sunday's New Hampshire 301 - could definitely be heading to the Joe Gibbs Toyota operation next season and leaving Jack Roush's Ford operation. No one would say much at all on the record about the Edwards situation. However, it appears something is changing, or has changed. Just what, if anything, isn't clear. And yet still there was little more than more silence Sunday. No one involved was leaping into deny or confirm anything. Part of the speculation involves sponsorship possibilities. Edwards is considered one of the sport's most attractive drivers from a sponsor's viewpoint. And it is believed that part of the driving factor in the Edwards-Gibbs possibility could be Home Depot, the home improvement giant which has 'lost' five straight NASCAR championships to arch-rival Lowe's and #48-Jimmie Johnson.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-18-2011)
    UPDATE 4: Interviewed on ESPN's NASCAR Now on Monday, Edwards said he has not made a decision on where to drive next year and he continues to want to keep contract negotiations private.(7-18-2011)

  • Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATES: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports: "No, they're not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines," White said. "Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world." Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he has no plans to shutter the team's engine shop and merge motor-building operations with Toyota Racing Development. "I think a lot of that started when Red Bull Racing announced they were going to cease operation," said Gibbs. "A lot of people started trying to plug things into different spots. There are some things that TRD and Toyota do really well, and there are some things that we do really well. For several years, we've been working on how to bring all those strengths together. (JGR Head Engine Builder) Mark Cronquist has got some real sharp guys& and the question  again  is how do we bring all that together (with Toyota and TRD)? If we can do that, I think there will be some real value. But there is no shutting down our shop, or shutting down theirs. We're going to keep working on combining what they do well with what we do well."
    Gibbs also commented on persistent rumors of negotiations with Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards, saying, "We get the most attention because we have an open spot. If other (teams) had spots, they'd all be in the rumor mill, too. The reality is that Carl is a gifted, talented driver. But you have to have all the parts; driver, crew chief, team and sponsorship. And that sponsorship piece is difficult to put together. From our standpoint, we are far from having any concrete decisions or directions. We have the availability to add a fourth car. We look at it each year and examine the possibilities. But we haven't been able to make it work." Gibbs said Joey Logano's job is secure, whether or not Edwards joins the JGR camp. "People in general just assume things," he said. "If we do a fourth car, it will be a great addition. For Joey, the key is that we finished last year so strong, but just haven't had that same consistency this year. We've had it the last few weeks, so that's encouraging for us and the whole (#20) team. He's young, but we have to perform. We all know that, and what we saw (out of Logano) last year is what we're starting to see again now. That's encouraging."(Sirius Speedway)(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE 2: While there's talk in the garage that Joe Gibbs Racing might be getting rid of its engine program (and using Toyota's program, which supplies engines for its teams), here's what Joe Gibbs told [Dustin Long] after the race: "No truth to that at all,'' Gibbs said of talk JGR's engine shop was closing after this year. "We're not closing our motor shop at all. What we're doing is moving closer and closer to TRD (Toyota Racing Development) to run one motor. So far we've been running two different packages. Now we've been getting closer and closer as we go and doing more R&D. Now that we'll be fuel injection (in 2012), we'll be closer yet. So that's all it is. We're going to be doing the things that we've been doing well. Mark (Cronquist, who oversees the engine department at JGR) is going to be in charge of horsepower stuff. We'll be working together (with TRD) on our motor package.''(Virginian-Pilot)(7-18-2011)

  • Zippy back with Stewart? DENIED UPDATE 2: hearing that Greg Zipadelli, currently the crew chief for #20-Joe Logano, could be headed to Stewart-Haas Racing in the future. Greg Zipadelli would take over as the crew chief for #14-Tony Stewart, who he won two Sprint Cup titles with [2002, 2005]. Current #14 crew chief, Darian Grubb, would move into Bobby Hutchens old position of director of competition. Hutchens and Stewart-Haas recently parted ways. Hutchins was Stewart-Haas Racing's Director of Competition and Stewart said they are looking for a replacement. Matt Borland was promoted to vice president of competition and is serving as Stewart-Haas Racing's interim director of competition. Stewart said recently that "once that position is filled, the director of competition will report to Matt."(6-21-2011)
    UPDATE: There was a published report this week that Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's long-time crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing, might move to Stewart-Haas and Stewart's crew chief, Darian Grubb, would become the team's director of competition. "I laughed when I saw that," Stewart said. "It's not the first time I've read something that's not true."(Sports Illustrated)(6-22-2011)
    UPDATE 2: A rough start to a season that began with high expectations has Greg Zipadelli admittedly unhappy right now. But the crew chief downplayed speculation that he's so upset with how Joey Logano has been running he's considering reuniting with Tony Stewart. Zipadelli won 33 races and two titles with Stewart, but stayed at Joe Gibbs Racing when the driver left to own a team. Now that Stewart is seeking a director of competition -- he fired Bobby Hutchens earlier this month -- there's been talk that Zipadelli could move to Stewart-Haas Racing in some capacity. But Zipadelli said he's got two years left on his contract with JGR, and no immediate plans to leave the organization. "I love Tony, he's as close to me as my brother," Zipadelli said. "But that doesn't mean anything. I love the organization I work for, they've been very positive and very supportive for over 13 years. I learned a long time ago to never say never in this sport about anything." Stewart, while not speaking specifically about Zipadelli, said SHR isn't close to hiring a new competition director. "We haven't got anywhere yet. We are still looking at our options," he said. "It would be nice to have a person in that position. We definitely want to get that role filled. At the same time, we want to make sure just like we did when we hired Bobby, we want to make sure we're hiring the right person. So we'll take our time on it."(Associated Press)(6-29-2011)

  • JGR teams face penalties for oil pans UPDATE 3 - Penalties announced: The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Joey Logano all face possible penalties after an issue was discovered in inspection Friday morning at Michigan before practice began. John Darby, Cup series director, said that all three Gibbs cars had oil pans that had not been submitted for approval before competition. "We had them pull (those) off and put what we're accustomed to, what has been submitted back on their cars,'' Darby said. All three teams face possible penalties for the infraction. "Chances are great (a penalty) wouldn't involve points,'' Darby said.(Hampton Roads)(6-17-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing had unapproved- and unusually heavy - oil pans seized from its three NASCAR Sprint Cup cars Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway. Officially, the issue was that the oil pans had not been submitted for approval by NASCAR, a standard procedure for the thousands of parts and pieces on race cars. But a bigger issue ultimately might be weight. While a standard NASCAR Sprint Cup oil pan weighs about 4 pounds, the three taken off the Gibbs cars weighed an estimated 20-30 pounds apiece. Competitors contacted by SPEED.com and FOXSports.com said the heavy oil pans would allow the teams to remove weight elsewhere in the car and put it low and on the front of the car, which could provide a handling advantage, perhaps a substantial one. Officials did not penalize JGR at the track but said in a statement, "NASCAR will discuss early next week if there will be any additional penalties assessed to these three teams."(SPEED)(6-18-2011)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced today that the #11, No. 18 and No. 20 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been penalized for rules violations discovered during opening day inspection June 17 at Michigan International Speedway. All three of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in an event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-5.5.4A (oil pan, failure to submit component) of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. As a result, the three crew chiefs  Mike Ford (#11 car), Dave Rogers (#18 car) and Greg Zipadelli (#20 car) have been fined $50,000 each and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. In addition, all three car chiefs  Chris Gillin (#11 car), Wesley Sherrill (#18 car) and Jason Shapiro (#20 car) along with Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jimmy Makar have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(6-21-2011)
    UPDATE 3 - Statement from JGR: "We received NASCAR's ruling today with regard to penalties for having oil pans on our cars that had not been submitted for approval prior to going through inspection on Friday. Although the parts were not illegal, we did not follow the proper submission for approval process. We will not appeal NASCAR's ruling."(JGR)(6-22-2011)

  • Logano helps out folks in Joplin MO: from the JGR Facebook: #20-Joey Logano and the The Home Depot Foundation crew visited Joplin, MO today to help rebuild the house of a family in need after the terrible tornado destroyed much of the city. It was an incredible experience. The attached picture is a semi truck that was wrapped around a tree by the twister. Click "Like" to remind people to keep Joplin in their prayers and consider donations. More pics & story there soon!(6-15-2011)

  • Drivers complete tire test at Kentucky: #16-Greg Biffle, #29-Kevin Harvick, #2-Brad Keselowski, #38-Travis Kvapil, #20-Joey Logano, #5-Mark Martin and #00-David Reutimann became acquainted with the race conditions at Kentucky Speedway Wednesday during a Goodyear tire test held just 36 days before the 107,000-seat venue makes its Sprint Cup Series debut with the July 9 "Quaker State 400." Biffle was pleased with his #16 3M Ford's setup off the hauler and the performance of the Goodyear tire compound. "We brought notes from Chicago, Kansas and basic mile-and-a-half racetracks, then, from what we did here before. We looked at all of that and picked out of a basket as to where to start. We hit it on the nailhead right out of the garage. We haven't made a lot of changes and we're running the same speed as all the guys. The track is taking rubber perfect. It's turning color and you can see the groove coming in. When we're through, you'll be able to stand in the grandstands and see the distinct black line around the racetrack where the cars are running," Biffle said. Joe Gibbs Racing's Logano, the only driver to reel off three consecutive NNS pole awards and 300-mile race victories at the track, also gave the tire compound solid reviews. "Goodyear brought one tire here, basically reassuring themselves that this is the tire they want. They've never had tire issues here before with the Nationwide Series, so I don't see this one being a problem. The tire isn't putting too much rubber down and I feel like it has decent grip."(Kentucky Speedway PR)(6-2-2011)

  • Home Depot team carrying decal for Joplin, MO store: The Home Depot Team will begin carrying a special decal this weekend on the C-Post of the #20 Toyota Camry honoring store #3023 that was not only destroyed by the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., but lost one of its associates. The decal which states, "In Our Hearts Store 3023 Joplin Mo" will be present on the car for the next four race weekends as well as the team's firesuits and hats. The Home Depot has committed to rebuild the store on its current location, has donated over $1 million in disaster relief for the area and its internal charity The Homer Fund is providing grants to associates who were affected by the storm.(Elevation Group PR)(6-1-2011)

  • Crew chief swap at Gibbs? UPDATE 2 - DENIED: supposedly a crew chief swap has been discussed and is imminent between the #11 and #20 Joe Gibbs Racing teams. The swap would send #11-Denny Hamlin's crew chief Mike Ford to #20-Joey Logano with Logano's crew chief Greg Zippadelli to the #11 garage.
    2011 has been a dismal year for Hamlin having scored just one top-10 finish through the first eight-races of the season. Logano is 66-points out of a playoff spot in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Expect to see the change within the next few weeks if not sooner.(Captain Thunder)(4-27-2011)
    UPDATE: JGR spokesman says that reports of crew chief shuffle for Hamlin and Logano are false.(Bob Pockrass/SceneDaily Twitter)(4-28-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin said rumors of a potential Joe Gibbs Racing crew-chief swap for them are not true. Both drivers, speaking Thursday before the Denny Hamlin Foundation Short-Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway, virtually laughed when asked about the rumors. Hamlin said he talked to team owner Joe Gibbs about the rumors Wednesday. Hamlin has worked with crew chief Mike Ford for his entire Sprint Cup Series career, which started with a handful of races in 2005. "It was news to me," Hamlin said. "The Coach [Gibbs] called me as soon as he saw it and I was like, 'Maybe I should be part of this decision.' "And he was like, 'There is no decision.' Mike is my guy. He will always be my guy." A JGR spokesman also denied that any swap was planned.(SceneDaily)(4-29-2011)

  • Drivers to star in A&E's "The Glades": On April 11-12, Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted Arts & Entertainment Television Network for filming of its police-drama "The Glades" and the episode will air later this summer. A cast and crew of more than 250 turned Homestead-Miami Speedway into an outdoor TV studio for a taping of "The Glades" second season. Homestead-Miami Speedway played itself as the host of NASCAR's series-crowning finales during Ford Championship Weekend featuring Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano. The garage area and the 1.5 mile Homestead-Miami Speedway functioned as a movie set for this summer's "Moonlighting" episode. A&E Network summarizes its TV hit this way: "THE GLADES" is a one-hour drama featuring actor Matt Passmore who plays "Jim Longworth," a sly Chicago cop who relocates to a slower-paced small town in Florida where the sun shines, the golf is plentiful, and the crime less ubiquitous, so he thinks. In this episode, when Longworth investigates a NASCAR-related murder, he goes head to head with NASCAR's top drivers, and takes a few laps around the track.(HMS)(4-14-2011)

  • JGR pinpoints some engine issues: #18-Kyle Busch says Joe Gibbs Racing has determined that problems with two of its engines last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in California were valve-related. #20-Joey Logano's team switched his the morning of Sunday's race when valve leakage was discovered. Logano's team didn't think the engine would last for 400 miles. #11-Denny Hamlin's engine failed 105 laps into the race due to an unrelated value train issue, leaving last year's Chase runner-up with a 39th-place finish that dropped him to 21st in points. Busch said Friday that identifying the problem is a huge step in the right direction for JGR, which has had engine issues in all five races this season. "Is there concern? Of course," Jimmy Makar, JGR's senior vice president of race operations, said earlier this week. "We've had a lot more issues than we'd like to see, this early in the season especially. Probably the bigger issue is for the most part they are non-related. That makes things harder to figure out. If you had the same thing happening over and over again you could focus on it." Makar said only Hamlin's failure on Sunday showed signs of a potential bad part. He said the batch that the part came from would be quarantined for this weekend's race at Martinsville to see if any issues arise.(Associated Press)(4-2-2011)

  • Gibbs working to identify cause of engine problems: Joe Gibbs Racing officials are scrambling to uncover the cause of an unusually high number of engine issues during the first five races of the Sprint Cup season. JGR had two issues this past weekend at Auto Club Speedway in California. The engine in #20-Joey Logano's Toyota had to be replaced on Saturday when valve leakage was discovered following the final practice. #11-Denny Hamlin's engine failed 105 laps into the race due to an unrelated value train issue. In all, JGR has had three engine failures in races and three more engines replaced prior to a race because problems arose. Last season, the organization had only two DNFs due to engine failure between Hamlin, Logano and #18-Kyle Busch. "Is there concern? Of course," said Jimmy Makar, JGR's senior vice president of race operations. "We've had a lot more issues than we'd like to see, this early in the season especially. Probably the bigger issue is for the most part they are non-related. That makes things harder to figure out. If you had the same thing happening over and over again you could focus on it." Makar said only Hamlin's failure on Sunday showed signs of a potential bad part. More alarming, Makar said there were very few changes made to the engines during the offseason. He said the organization purposely left things the way they were, with minor adjustments to improve fuel mileage that may have cost Hamlin the championship last season, before experimenting with new ideas.(ESPN.com)(3-29-2011)

  • 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 a 10-figure 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)

2010 News

  • Gamestop scheme for Logano? UPDATEs Images: hearing that #20-Joe Logano could run a Game Stop scheme in a future Sprint Cup Series race, possible Martinsville in October. Game Stop is a sponsor for Logano in the Nationwide Series.(9-7-2010)
    UPDATE: GameStop announced today it will partner with Joe Gibbs Racing to sponsor the #20 Toyota Camry for the Oct. 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway. The Tums Fast Relief 500 will be the first foray into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the Grapevine, Texas-based video game retailer. GameStop has sponsored Logano in the NASCAR Nationwide Series since the 20-year-old made his much-anticipated debut in the series in 2008 and has been Logano's primary sponsor for each of his seven-career Nationwide Series victories, including the most recent at Kentucky Speedway in June. "It's awesome to see GameStop make their Sprint Cup sponsorship debut riding along with me at a track like Martinsville," said Logano, who finished a season-best second-place in the Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville earlier this year. "GameStop has been a great company to work with, and they've been with me since I came into the big leagues of NASCAR in 2008. I'm excited to have the chance to improve on our finish from earlier this year and get GameStop into Victory Lane in the Cup Series."
    GameStop has taken a unique approach to their Nationwide Series sponsorship with Joe Gibbs Racing, Since 2008, the #20 GameStop Toyota has featured more than 35 different paint schemes promoting a number of popular video games, gaming systems and gaming accessories. The paint scheme for the Martinsville Speedway car will be unveiled at the track on race weekend. "Our GameStop car always turns heads when it gets unloaded at the track. Whatever paint scheme they come up with for Martinsville will be really cool looking," added Logano. "One of the best things about having GameStop as a sponsor is the uniqueness they bring to the sport. Their stuff draws fans into the sport. I mean, who doesn't like video games and race cars? So this will be a special weekend for all of the GameStop employees and fans out there. I'm looking forward to it." The GameStop sponsorship is a one-race deal for Martinsville only. Home Depot, Logano's primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series, will return to sponsor the car for the remainder of the 2010 season.(GameStop Racing)(9-12-2010)
    UPDATE 2: The #20 GameStop Toyota will feature the look of the PowerUp Rewards program this weekend in Martinsville. The PowerUp Rewards program rewards the most passionate of GameStop gamers by offering savings on purchases while also providing members-only specials, discounts and news emailed directly to users. GameStop District 211 in Columbus, OH, will be the featured on the c-post of the #20 GameStop Toyota this weekend in Martinsville. District 211 has been instrumental in the nation-wide rollout of PowerUp Rewards.
    IMAGEs: see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes Page.(10-20-2010)

  • Home Depot & NMPA team up again: The Home Depot and the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) will once again team up in 2010 to present the Home Depot NMPA Humanitarian Award. This is the fourth year the award is being presented and the winner of the award will be announced during the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brother Awards luncheon in Las Vegas. The award recognizes an individual in the NASCAR community that has displayed a dedication to helping others and improving communities through their service and giving. The winner will receive a $100,000 cash donation made by The Home Depot to the recipient's charity of choice and a specially-designed crystal award. Two finalists will each receive $25,000 cash donations to their designated non-profit organizations.(JGR)(9-7-2010)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Launches New App For Mobile Devices: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that it has launched Joe Gibbs Racing iCrew, a new application for mobile devices that will allow fans to follow all news related to the team's NASCAR and Motocross operations. The new app allows JGR fans to follow all the latest news, information and special features with ease from wherever they might be. JGR fans will now have the ability to receive instant notifications on qualifying and race results, as well as breaking news, special events, and contests. In addition, content includes exclusive JGR and JGRMX photographs, videos, and features. The app also allows fan interaction syncing comments through Twitter and Facebook accounts. Joe Gibbs Racing iCrew is available for free in the Android Market and the App Store.(JGR PR)(8-12-2010)

  • MAF Honors NASCAR Teams Response to Haiti Quake: In the aftermath of the catastrophic Jan. 12, 7.0 earthquake that destroyed the capital of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, two renowned NASCAR auto racing teams shuttled relief workers and supplies into Haiti and transported evacuees, rotating workers and quake victims to the United States. This week at their respective shops in North Carolina, MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) President John Boyd presented Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing with special service awards for their work in Haiti.
    In the crucial days following one of the worlds greatest disasters, the teams generously provided aircraft from their fleets. The Hendrick and Gibbs crews worked with MFI (Missionary Flights International) and MAF to shuttle planes between Fort Pierce, Fla., and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, enabling the rotation of high-impact volunteer medical teams and humanitarian workers. The planes also evacuated adopted orphans to their American homes. In addition, the aviation crews offered care, personal concern and warm fellowship to the MAF missionary pilots and ground workers as they toiled amid heat, chaos, suffering and death.
    With these awards, we at MAF want to express our sincere gratitude to Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing for their support of the MAF team in Haiti, Boyd said. We honor two fine motorsports teams for their selfless actions, and for the special blessing they were to us during a very trying time. Boyd also invited the two teams aviation staffs to participate in one of the MAF advanced mountain training workshops at the ministrys headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.
    MAF has served the missionary community and the people of Haiti since 1986. Eight MAF missionary families and seven Haitian staff members provide air service with three bush aircraft that fly to 16 remote airstrips from Port-au-Prince. Within the first three months of its disaster relief efforts, MAF had partnered with dozens of relief agencies, including the United Nations. In addition to having coordinated the flights of 3,500 international passengers and 1.5 million pounds of cargo between Florida and Port-au-Prince, MAF logged 1,037 flights within Haiti, transported 1,801 relief workers, missionaries, patients and medical staff in and out of inland towns and villages urgently needing help, and delivered 315,498 pounds of urgent relief and medical cargo. MAF continues its disaster response work in Haiti, having now shifted from the crisis-relief phase to a rebuilding stage that is expected to last several years.(MAF PR)(7-29-2010)

  • JGR and NASA: Joe Gibbs Racing [#11-Hamlin, #18-Busch & #20-Logano] recently used the 3-mile runway NASA utilizes for its space shuttle program to run its car up and down to gather information about aerodynamics. The team basically driver Matt DiBenedetto, a development driver at JGR, run the car to 205 mph on the landing strip, coast to about 150 mph and then run it back up to 205 mph, doing this three times before turning around and coming back and doing the same thing. Such straight-line testing is common in NASCAR. Teams go to various places to do this but going to NASA's runaway is unique.(Virginian Pilot)(7-15-2010)

  • Gibbs and family selected as 2nd quarter Spirit Award Winner: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association selected J.D. Gibbs and his family 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.
    Gibbs and his family were selected for hosting Taylor's Finish Line Festival in May. The festival was held to celebrate the end cancer treatments for Gibbs' 5-year-old son, Taylor. Proceeds benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western, N.C., and the Levine Children's Hospital of Charlotte. More than $600,000 was raised at the event, attended by more than 5,000 people.
    Also receiving votes were: Drs. Joseph and Rose Mattioli for contributions to support trauma care at Lehigh Valley Health Network; employees of Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines for delivering and distributing cleaning supplies to Nashville, Tenn., residents affected by the flooding there; Tony Stewart for his annual Prelude to the Dream charity dirt late model race; and Kyle Petty for his annual charity motorcycle ride across the country. Bobby Hutchens, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, won the award in the first quarter.(JGR)(7-8-2010)

  • Logano's father warned: The father of Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano will not have his NASCAR credential pulled for the second time in a year after being called to the hauler for his behavior following Sunday's race at Pocono Raceway. But Tom Logano was told strongly by NASCAR officials that he crossed the line when he allegedly shoved a television broadcaster out of the way -- an allegation he disputes -- while his 20-year-old son tried to get to Sprint Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick on pit road. "You can't deny the fact of a passionate parent," series director John Darby said after the race. "You have to appreciate it, but there has to be line in the sand as to how far that passion can go." The younger Logano was angry that Harvick spun him racing for a top 5 finish with less than two laps left in regulation. He parked his car next to Harvick's on pit road after the race and attempted to get to the Richard Childress Racing driver. "All of our competitors are licensed to compete," Darby said. "They're given permission in sorts to not only to be the athletes but to display the emotions of competition during, after, before or whatever. And that's all fine. Parents aren't really licensed or quite frankly have the permission to step in and get involved in this thing. Mr. Logano, he did what he could to restrain himself. I guess at the last he wound up interfering with one of our television broadcasters and that's not the right thing to do."
    During the heated affair, according to Darby, Tom Logano pushed a television broadcaster. But Logano said that wasn't what happened. "What happened with what Darby said, and what they talked to me about, was after Joey was done and he was walking away," Logano said Monday. "His business manager wasn't with him, so I just wanted to walk with Joey. I brushed past one of the newscasters. I didn't grab him. I didn't shove him. I just wanted to get to Joey. I didn't know if it was a radio guy or TV guy or what. And he said they didn't appreciate it. I didn't grab him or push him. They had it on video. It wasn't a big deal."
    The elder Logano had his annual NASCAR credential pulled in October for a gesture made at Greg Biffle following his son's victory in the Nationwide race at California. It was more an inconvenience than punishment, because he was allowed to stand in line and get a paper credential for subsequent events.
    On Monday, Tom Logano said when the incident began, he initially was trying to clear the way for his son to confront Harvick. "I pushed one of the Gibbs guys away to let Joey go handle his own problems," he said. "I wasn't going after Harvick."(ESPN.com)(6-8-2010)

  • Logano vs. Harvick, some notes: #29-Kevin Harvick and #20-Joey Logano got together on the track a few laps from the finish, Logano came down entering turn 3 and Harvick didn't follow but held his ground, the #29 right front touched the #20-left rear, sending the #20 in a long slide, just missing the outside wall. Harvick finished 4th and Logano was able to hold on and finished 13th. On pit road, Logano drove up to where Harvick's car was parked, a crew member tried to hold Logano back while his father grabbed Logano and encouraged him to confront Harvick. Logano could not get near Harvick as the #29 crew members blocked the way. Logano said a few things and was ushered away. Moments later he was interviewed by TNT and said "Its disappointing to be honest with you, we had a top-five run going with the Home Depot Toyota. I was pretty pumped up about it. Racing the 29 (Kevin Harvick) and he let me go in the middle of the straightaway and then decided to dump me in the next turn. I dont know what his problem is with me but its probably not his fault. His wife wears the fire suit in the family and tells him what to do. Its probably not his fault. What will it take to cool this feud down? I dont know. Im going to go to the NASCAR hauler and I guess they are going to tell me what Im supposed to do. We will just have to see. What did Coach Gibbs and J.D. Gibbs say to you? They just said to calm down, you know we finished 13th. We rallied back from 30th in two laps so at least we got something out of it. Not a top-five like we should have finished, but it is what it is. I dont know what I ever did to (piss) him off, but he is apparently stupid. -more- (Toyota NSCS Pocono Post-Race Notes)
    Harvick's comment We had a great day, today. I just got into turn three and we just wound up getting together (with the 20). It was just two cars going for the same space at one time. I just need to thank everybody on my Shell-Pennzoil Chevy, they did a great job today and we had a solid car. I kind of got stuck back there in the middle of the pack with the pit strategy but, all-in-all, our car was good all day and worked out for a top five.(RCR)
    AND Harvick called the incident a 20-year-old move and added, he just races without giving people any respect and not much room. So, we just wound up getting together. Its unfortunate, but thats the way it goes.(FoxSports)
    Harvick responded on Twitter, "After his TV comment I don't know if he wants to fight me or [DeLana]. My money's on her!"
    AND Harvick's crew chief Gil Martin claimed Logano sped toward Harvick's pit box and nearly slammed into several crew members before coming to a stop.(Associated Press) Logano went to speak to Sprint Cup series officials after the race and left without further comment. Harvick was not called to the hauler.(6-7-2010)

  • Captains of Gold-Medal Winning USA Paralympic Sled Hockey Team to be Joey Loganos Guests During All-Star Weekend: Being in the spotlight and treated like a star is nothing new for Joey Logano. When you are the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year and a public figure, it comes with the territory. So Joey Logano hopes that hell be able to give that star experience to another group of people; a group he feels much more deserving of the honor than himself. Logano will host three members of the gold-medal winning 2010 USA Paralympic Sled Hockey team during the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 22nd. The team members - Steve Cash (Goaltender), Taylor Lipsett (Forward) and Jimmy Connelly (Defenseman) - will be guests of Joey for the entire weekend and will hang out with the team and Joey during one of the highlight nights of the Sprint Cup season. The three team members will also be Joeys special guests at the Joey Logano Fan day on Sunday, May 23rd, at the Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, NC.
    Logano has a special place in his heart for the Paralympic Sled Hockey team. Logano teamed up with the Extreme Ice Center back in late 2009 to start on a project to design, develop, build and donate new sleds for the US Paralympic team in hopes of helping the team come one step closer to achieving their goals and winning gold at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. The team used the new sleds in March during the Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, BC, Canada and won the gold medal, winning all five of their games and outscoring opponents 19-0. The U.S. team defeated South Korea, Czech Republic, Japan (twice) and Norway en route to the gold.
    These guys are just inspiring, said Logano, who has a guaranteed starting spot in the All-Star event following his win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last season. I really wish we could have the whole team here, but to just have some of the guys represented is a great honor for me. They put their heart and soul into the game of hockey and it showed when they won the gold medal. I figured bringing them down to experience the All-Star weekend would be a cool experience for them. And its a great way to just say thanks to a group of guys who dont get the attention that the regular Olympians do, but who are far more inspiring. I cant wait to show them around and let them see what it is like on the racing side of things. From what Ive heard, the guys are real excited to come experience it all and it will be my pleasure to have them as my guests for the weekend.
    Cash, one of three team captains, led the charge for the gold in Vancouver. The goalie made 33 saves and didnt allow a single goal during the US teams march to first place. A St. Louis, MO-native, Cash was diagnosed with osterosarcoma (bone cancer) of the right knee in October 1992 and underwent amputation surgery at the age of three. Cash was named the 2009 United States Olympic Committee Paralympic SportsMan of the Year.
    Lipsett, another team captain who hails from Mesquite, Texas, scored five goals and two assists during the Winter Games as a Forward. Lipsett, who suffers from a genetic bone disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta (sometimes known as "brittle bone disease"), works for Bank of America's Private Wealth Management Division and would like to specialize in wealth management for athletes.
    Connelly is a Defenseman who resides in Galloway, N.J. Connelly was born with spina bifida, a birth defect caused by the incomplete formation of vertebrae. He is currently attending The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and is pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
    Weve watched and followed these guys ever since they got their new sleds and they have done nothing but impress us with their tenacity, said Mike Mulhall, General Manager of the Indian Trail, NC-based Extreme Ice Center, who spearheaded the project from the start. These guys put a lot of time and effort into doing what they do and representing the United States. So, hopefully bringing them into town and letting them experience a little NASCAR flavor will be something that will stick with them. And, it will be the Ice Center and the Loganos way of just saying thanks.(2 Dudes Designs)(5-18-2010)

  • Gibbs could not commit to fourth Cup team: Joe Gibbs wouldnt get into the reasons, but he said Friday night that it just wasnt feasible for JGR to currently commit to a fourth Sprint Cup team when he was asked about Kasey Kahne signing with Hendrick Motorsports. Gibbs thinks that Kahne knows where hes racing in 2011 even though Hendrick announced Wednesday that his plans for 2011 are uncertain before he takes over the #5 car in 2012. I am going to have to say hes not in limbo, Gibbs said prior to being inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. I would say theres been a decision made of whats going to happen there. The decision doesnt include JGR, which had made a strong run at Kahne but couldnt get the package done before Kahne made the decision to sign with Hendrick. Its extremely hard to put together something where youre trying to put together right sponsor, right driver, Gibbs said. Thats part of life in what you do here. You try to craft things as best you can for your race team. Weve probably been the most cautious of adding a fourth team among the big teams.(SceneDaily)(4-19-2010)

  • Logano wins Toyota All-Star Showdown:Joey Logano got his second NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown trophy and Sergio Pena nearly made a historic debut on the national stage. Logano, 19, held off the 16-year-old Pena and two-time race winner Matt Kobyluck for the victory in the 225-lap race Saturday before a sold-out crowd at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. It was Pena's first career race in NASCAR's top developmental series and it came in the non-points, postseason event, which has earned the moniker the "Daytona 500 of short-track racing." Logano made his mark by winning as a 17-year-old rookie in the 2007 edition; Pena, who only has one year of Late Model racing on his resume, nearly out-did that. Logano wound up leading a race-high 171 laps. Pena led the other 54 and they swapped the lead five times. Following Logano, Pena and Kobyluck across the line was Matt DiBenedetto and Andrew Myers. Eric Holmes, David Mayhew, Eddie MacDonald, Paulie Harraka and Steve Park rounded out the top 10. Reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Jason Bowles finished 11th while K&N Pro Series East 2009 titlist Ryan Truex was relegated to 26th after a late-race accident.(NASCAR)(1-31-2010)

  • TV Special to go behind the scenes at JGR: Beginning Jan. 24, NASCAR fans will be given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to one of the sports most successful teams as it prepares for the season-opening Daytona 500. SPEED and IMG Sports Media are working together on a series of four one-hour specials featuring Joe Gibbs Racing and giving fans a unique perspective of what it takes to be ready to perform in The Daytona 500. JGRs Countdown to the Daytona 500 will take viewers to previously restricted areas, including wind tunnel testing, the engine department and team plane.(SPEEDtv)(1-12-2010)

  • Logano Wins At Bobsled Challenge: The Fifth Annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering concluded on Sunday with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano a winner. Logano defeated Melanie Troxel from the NHRA in Sundays Race 2 finals, which pitted the fastest NASCAR representative against the fastest from the NHRA. Loganos run of 49.81 seconds edged the 50.08 of Troxel, who was the champion of Race 1 earlier in the day. I'm happy with my time, and it makes it a ton of fun to finally get a win, Logano said. This is a blast. A three-year participant in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge, Sundays Race 2 overall win was the first in a bobsled for Logano. Logano recorded the second-fastest time, just behind NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Bodine, during the first round of competition against his fellow NASCAR competitors, and advanced to the semifinals in the head-to-head portion of the racing with a win against part-time driver and ESPN NASCAR analyst Boris Said. Logano then defeated Bodine in the semifinals to earn a match-up with Troxel. Troxel made it to the finals of Race 2 by recording the fastest time among her NHRA competitors in the first round, then defeated Morgan Lucas in the semifinals. Earlier in the day the events 10 participants competed in Race 1, which determined an overall winner based on the combined time of two runs. Troxel took top honors with a composite time of 1:39.33 to just edge fellow NHRA representative Jeg Coughlin Jr. at 1:39.40. Said was third overall, and fastest among the NASCAR drivers at 1:39.69. Bodine was fourth at 1:39.82. Said recorded the fastest single run of any competitor on Sunday, a trip of 49.21 seconds during the first round of Race 1. The Bodine Bobsled Challenge was held on Mount Van Hovenburg in rural Lake Placid, site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, and the 2009 World Bobsled Championships. The event is geared to create awareness and greater funding for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., which provides made-in-America bobsleds for the United States men's and women's national teams. Action from the Bobsled Challenge is scheduled to air on SPEED on Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 (NASCAR), more info and TV Times on my Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge page.(1-11-2010)

2009 News

  • Looks like Farm Bureau Insurance sponsorship is done: in a recent newsletter from Farm Bureau Insurance, it was posted: As the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season comes to a close, so does Farm Bureau Insurances sponsorship relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing. We want to thank Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and David Gilliland, and all of our loyal fans and customers for your support. Sponsoring a JGR car in six races: Darlington, Atlanta (2nd), Charlotte (2nd), Martinsville (2nd), Texas (2nd) and Homestead. Once again, all of us at Farm Bureau Insurance would like to thank our fans. It was great seeing you at the track, and it has been a truly rewarding experience working with the professional and dedicated team at Joe Gibbs Racing in both the 2008 and 2009 sponsorships of the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup series. This will be the last corespondence from Farm Bureau Insurance Racing.(farmbureauinsuranceracing.com)(12-10-2009)

  • Rusty Wallace forms alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing announced the formation of a technical alliance between the two teams, under which JGR will provide RWR with technical support for the development of NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry race cars. In the last two Nationwide Series seasons, RWR has fielded a pair of Chevy Impalas and in 2009 was the only team with multiple drivers among the top-ten in the year-end driver standings. For the 2010 season, the team will campaign factory-backed Toyota Camrys, with engines provided by Triad Racing Development. Stated RWR team owner, Rusty Wallace, Were excited about working with J.D. (Gibbs) and his guys; theyve built a very solid Nationwide Series program over the past several seasons. Between all of the support that were receiving from Toyota and this new partnership, I feel that 2010 will be a strong year for our team. Regarding the partnership, JGR President J.D. Gibbs noted, Were looking forward to working with Rusty and his team at RWR. Were excited to have them join the Toyota camp next year in the Nationwide Series and we look forward to providing assistance to their program as well.(RWR PR)(12-14-2009)

  • Final Rookie News and Notes: #20-Joey Logano is the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano captured top rookie honors 26 times in 36 races and officially claimed the honor by 33 points (270-237) over #82-Scott Speed. He finished the season with one win, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes and placed 20th in the final series championship standings. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The victory came in his 20th career start. At 19 years of age, Logano is the youngest driver to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The year-end payout for 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is $75,000, the same amount Darrell Waltrip earned from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for his 1982 Cup series championship. Logano will earn a grand total of $114,500 from Raybestos brand Brakes for his efforts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. Logano is the third driver from Joe Gibbs Racing to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year, joining Tony Stewart (1999) and Denny Hamlin (2006).(Raybestos/Camp & Associates) and see rookie history, standings on my 2009 Rookies page and race by race notes on my 2009 Rookies race-by-race page.(11-27-2009)

  • Logano named 2009 Rookie of the Year: #20-Joey Logano scored a 24th-place finish and was the top rookie in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors 26 times in 36 races this season. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He finished the season with one win, three top-fives and seven top-10 finishes. At 19 years of age, Logano is the youngest driver to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano is the third driver from Joe Gibbs Racing to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year, joining Tony Stewart (1999) and Denny Hamlin (2006). YOU OFICIALLY CLINCHED RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TONIGHT. "All right, cool. That's cool. That was one of our big goals this year. It's pretty neat to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year. I appreciate that," said Logano.(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos) and see more, plus rookie history, notes on my 2009 Rookies page.(11-23-2009)

  • Gibbs has no plans to return to Redskins: Hall of Fame former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said Sunday he has no plans to return to the struggling team. Gibbs laughed when asked at Martinsville Speedway about rumors and Internet reports that he could return to the team as an adviser or even general manager. "That's what it is. Talk," the owner of three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams said. "Right here's where I'm GMing."(Associated Press)(10-25-2009)

  • Drivers to appear on Raw: #18-Kyle Busch and #20-Joey Logano are scheduled to serve as special guest hosts of WWE's Raw in Buffalo, N.Y., this Monday night [10/26]. The show airs on the USA Network at 9:00pm/et.(WWE)(10-26-2009)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing wins 75th Sprint Cup Series race: With the victory by #11-Denny Hamlin on his hometrack of Richmond International Raceway, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has now totaled 75 victories in NASCARs elite racing series. Joe Gibbs Racing, founded by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs in 1992, claimed its first victory on NASCARs biggest stage when Dale Jarrett captured the checkered flag at the 1993 Daytona 500. Since then JGR has gone on to win 74 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (previously Winston Cup Series). Were proud to have earned our 75th victory today, said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. We have been blessed with dedicated and talented employees as well as outstanding partners and sponsors. When you look back at our 75 victories you realize how fortunate we have been to have such talented drivers and crew chiefs, but the reality is it takes a lot of people working together to be successful in this sport, added Gibbs. A big part of the credit belongs to the guys in the shop working long hours preparing our cars for the track and our crews that travel each week to put it all together. JGRs 75 wins have also helped the multi-car race team capture three NASCAR Cup Series Championships (2000, 2002, and 2005). The team record for wins in a season is 10, which has been done twice, both in 2008 (Kyle Busch 8, Denny Hamlin 1, and Tony Stewart 1) and in 2000 (Stewart 6, Bobby Labonte 4). JGR has seven victories thus far in 2009. In addition to the Cup Series, JGR has now captured 37 NASCAR Nationwide Series victories earning its first Owners Championship in that series in 2008.
    The list of JGRs Cup victories by driver:
    Tony Stewart (#20).................. 33 Bobby Labonte (#18)............... 21 Kyle Busch (#18).................... 12 Denny Hamlin (#11).................. 6 Dale Jarrett (#18)...................... 2 Joey Logano (#20).................... 1 Total JGR NASCAR Cup Wins.. 75.(JGR)(9-13-2009)

  • Robby Gordon Responds to Logano Incident in NNS race: Robby Gordon [#55] and Joey Logano [#20] both raced in the Watkins Glen Nationwide Race and got together late in the race, Gordon responded Sunday to the incident: "After reviewing the comments by Logano and the replay of the day's events, I felt that it was necessary to explain what happened during yesterday's race from my prospective. This whole turn of events started with Joey running into the back of my #55 in Turn 10. He then knocked me sideways in Turn 11. To show him my displeasure, I ran him down towards the inside wall on the front straight. I tried to do a crossover move in Turn 1 to get back by him; however, I missed judged a little resulting in both of us getting flat tires. During the final incident that ended Joey's day, we were racing for the lucky dog position. We both had good cars and were just trying to improve our finishing position for the day. After the bus stop chicane, Joey wrecked the No. 34 of Tony Raines. This contact allowed me to get underneath him in Turn 9. He saw that I was going to pass him for the Lucky Dog position, so he tried to block me. This maneuver resulted in his right rear tire connecting with my left front. From there, I felt he would be okay because he was in the section where the outer loop was. Rather than going down the inner loop, he decided to cut across the grass, hitting the tire barrier. At the end of the day I'm just glad Joey is okay. This is a highly competitive sport, and we are all very passionate when we are on the track. Tempers have a tendency to flare, but hopefully in the future we will both race each other cleaner. Under my own doing, I did stop by the NASCAR hauler this morning to converse with them about yesterday. There will be no repercussions from yesterday' events," commented Robby Gordon.(RGM)
    AND Joey Logano, who was wrecked pretty blatant by Robby Gordon and sent spinning into a tire barrier. Logano's fuel lines came loose and the car caught fire, forcing him out of the race. "Apparently, we got in a little grudge match after I cut down his tire," Logano said. "It's a pretty raw deal. You can't fix stupid, it's forever. You put that in your memory bank."(Alabama Live)(8-9-2009)

  • Ganassi to Gibbs? UPDATE 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)

  • Logano is newest Gillette Young Gun: Gillette announced that it will heat things up this summer by adding recent NASCAR race winner Joey Logano, driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota, to its elite group of Gillette Young Guns Drivers which includes Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman. Logano earned his rookie stripes from his fellow Gillette Young Guns during the filming of a new commercial to support the Gillette Optimal Shave indicator strip, which alerts consumers that it is time to change their blades when the strip color changes from blue to white. The commercial features all seven Gillette Young Guns and highlights Logano as the latest addition to the roster of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars. The ads will begin airing during the broadcast of the July 11 LifeLock.com 400 from Chicagoland Speedway. (Gillette PR)(7-11-2009)

  • Zipadelli Named Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race at Loudon: Greg Zipadelli, crew chief for the #20 Home Depot Toyota driven by Joey Logano, has been named the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Running mid-pack for most of the afternoon, Logano's left rear tire went down around Lap 180, sending him spinning and bringing out the caution. The #20 crew fixed the car and sent him back onto the track, one lap down. Shortly after restarting the race, the yellow came out once again on Lap 190, giving Logano the free pass. With rain in the area, crew chief Greg Zipadelli decided to gamble and leave his 19-year-old driver on track, saving fuel and hoping for a good finish. Because Zippy had brought his driver in just 80 laps earlier, Logano, who had plenty of gas, stayed out on Lap 273 while all the other lead-lap cars pitted under green, and was in the lead when the rains came and the red flag came out on. Shortly after, the race was made official and Zipadelli's daring pit call helped the #20 team score its first victory with rookie Joey Logano. In addition to the $1,000 check, the winning crew chief will receive signage to announce the win on their pit box the following week. The crew chief with the most weekly wins will be honored as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and will be presented a $20,000 check at the season finale in Homestead.(Wypall)(6-30-2009)

  • Logano first Rookie to win in 71 races: Raybestos Rookie #20-Joey Logano rallied from a lap down and stretched his fuel mileage to perfection to win the rain shortened LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in just his 20th start and his first in two starts at New Hampshire. He became the first Raybestos Rookie to win in 71 races, dating back to Juan Pablo Montoyas victory at Infineon Raceway in 2007. He joined Ryan Newman (2002) as the only Raybestos Rookies to win in 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire. He won in just his second start at New Hampshire and led the race just once, covering the final 10 laps. Logano leads Scott Speed by 31 points (199-168) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings. Logano scored his first top-five and fourth top-10 of the 2009 season.(Raybestos PR)(6-29-2009)

  • Logano wins at New Hampshire: #20-Joey Logano won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his first career Sprint Cup race in his 20th race. Logano is the youngest driver ever to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at 19 years, 1 months, and 4 days, besting Kyle Busch who was 20 years, 4 months, 2 days old. Logano is the third first time winner in 2009, there were no first time winners in 2008, but four in 2007. #24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #2-Busch, #00-Reutimann, #14-Stewart, #09-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #77-Hornish Jr., #48-Johnson and #9-Kahne. There were 11 cautions for 47 laps, 2 red flags [big wreck and rain] and there were 23 lead changes among 14 drivers.
    For race results, awards and more, see my New Hampshire Race Results Page.
    For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers/Owners Points Standings.(6-28-2009)

  • Logano Makes Visit To Davids House: #20-Joey Logano moved from his hometown of Middletown, CT at a young age, but he still maintains strong roots in the New England states. This is evident by his charities of choice -- Childrens Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) and Davids House; two facilities that help give children and their familys first-class healthcare and support throughout the region. With the upcoming racing action at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS), Logano took time out to visit Davids House on Thursday, June 25. While there he dropped off several video game consoles and games from his NASCAR Nationwide Series sponsor, GameStop, and visited with many of the children and families who use Davids House while receiving treatment at CHaD. Logano also made the trip next door to CHaD to visit with children who were not able to make it to the Davids House event. In addition, Logano was the guest speaker at the annual Governors Breakfast on Friday morning, June 26, at NHMS.(MCG)(6-27-2009)

  • 4th Gibbs team? Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs is still open to the idea of four Sprint Cup teams if the sponsorship can be found for 2010 by the end of the summer. We can still plug in a fourth team, Gibbs said Sunday at Infineon Raceway. The problem is from an economy standpoint. You can probably get a few [sponsors] to mix and match, but we dont have a full fourth ready to go from a sponsor standpoint. Were in no hurry. If we have to wait a year, thats fine. You have got to have the right driver, the right core group and the right sponsor. But if that happened, we could do it pretty quick. I wouldnt cross it off for next year but at the same time were not going to force it. When asked if that fourth car could be Indy Racing League star Danica Patrick, Gibbs laughed. JGR uses IMG to help it find sponsors and Danica is represented by IMG. I dont know what she wants to do, Gibbs said. Does she want to still run what shes running and dip her toe in the water, does she want to do the whole thing? & I think it would be great for the sport wherever she goes. I dont think she would want to be part of a [new] fourth team [here]. In addition to a fourth team, JGR also could become a vendor for other teams. JGR did not have a successful affiliate/vendor program with Hall of Fame Racing from 2006-2008, and Gibbs said if JGR did it in the future, it would be a closer relationship. Gibbs said the team management would have to decide whether such an arrangement would be simply for profit or help the organization run better. He also thinks that adding a fourth team would be more of a priority.(SceneDaily)(6-22-2009)

  • Logano gets punted in West Series race: Joe Gibbs Racings Joey Logano was spun while leading on the final lap of the NASCAR Camping World West Series Bennett Lane Winery 200 on Saturday afternoon at Infineon Raceway. The driver who tapped him, Patrick Long, was penalized and scored at the tail end of the lead lap, with Jason Bowles inheriting the win. Logano finished 17th. Two other Sprint Cup drivers were in the field: Boris Said (EM Motorsports in Cup) finished fourth and David Gilliland (TRG Motorsports) finished 31st.(SceneDaily)(6-20-2009)

  • Logano wins ARCA race at Pocono: Joey Logano turned his test and tune day Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway into an ARCA RE/MAX Series triumph. Logano, in the Venturini Motorsports-prepared Home Depot Toyota, entered the Pocono ARCA 200 to get seat-time for the next-day Pocono 500 Cup race. The Middletown, Connecticut driver got that and plenty more as he led the most laps en route to his second series victory in his fourth series start.(ARCARacing.com)(6-7-2009)

  • Logano to Pull Double-Duty in Sonoma: #20-Joey Logano will compete in the Bennett Lane Winery 200, presented by Supercuts, NASCAR Camping World West Series race at Infineon Raceway on Saturday, June 20. Logano joins road-race veteran Boris Said as the latest two entries for the Camping World West Series race, which is part of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, June 19-21. Logano will pull double-duty for Joe Gibbs Racing, competing in both events. Logano competed in the West Series event at Infineon Raceway two years ago, but was sidelined by engine trouble.(Infineon Raceway)(6-4-2009)

  • Logano to run ARCA race at Pocono: Since 1983 the ARCA RE/MAX Series has served as the show-opener for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on both Pocono Raceway race weekends. As a result, the RE/MAX Series at Pocono has become a key environment for Sprint Cup Series drivers to perfect their skills on the tricky 2.5-mile, high-speed, triangular-shaped track just in time for the next-day Cup 500-miler. The latest in search of Pocono seat-time is Sprint Cup Series rookie Joey Logano, who has yet to turn a competitive lap on the Long Pond, PA speedplant - which is why the Middletown, Connecticut driver is entered in the Venturini Motorsports-prepared Home Depot Toyota for the Pocono ARCA 200 coming Saturday, June 6. With NASCAR's ban on testing in place and no Nationwide and/or Camping World Truck Series races scheduled on the renowned triangle, the need for the likes of Logano to familiarize oneself with the unique Pocono layout could be even more pressing. Tickets for the Pocono ARCA 200, the SPRINT Cup Series event and the entire 2009 Pocono Raceway season are available by contacting the Pocono Raceway Ticket Office at 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929), or through poconoraceway.com.(ARCAracing.com)(6-1-2009)

  • Moffitt breaks Logano's record: Brett Moffitt already broke one of Joey Loganos NASCAR Camping World Series records. It didnt take him long to take care of another. Moffitt became the youngest winner in NASCAR Camping World Series history Saturday night with his win in the South Boston 150 at South Boston Speedway. His #44 brettmoffitt.com Chevy led 81 laps  including the last 67  and outpaced a pair of fellow teenagers in runner-up Ryan Gifford and third-place Ryan Truex.
    Moffitt doesnt turn 17 until August 7. Joey Logano, now driving the #20 Home Depot Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series, was 1 month, 5 days of turning 17 when he scored his first win in the NASCAR Camping World Series West, and he set the NASCAR Camping World Series East mark 11 days later with his win at Greenville Pickens Speedway. In the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Series East opener, Moffitt broke Loganos record as the series youngest Coors Light Pole Award winner. With Saturdays win, Moffitt also secured a starting spot in the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.(NASCAR)(6-1-2009)

  • Logano could make history with win in Coke 600: If #20-Joe Logano wins the Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, on his birthday [May 24th], he could join Cale Yarborough [twice] and Kyle Busch as the only drivers to win a Cup race on their birthday. Logano would also break the record for the youngest driver to ever win a Sprint Cup race, current held by Kyle Busch at 20 years and 125 days [for his win at California in Sept 2005], plus he would become the youngest driver ever to win a Sprint Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, currently held by Jeff Gordon, who won his first Sprint Cup race ay LMS in the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 at 22 years, 9 months, 25 days.(5-24-2009)

  • NMPA, Home Depot team up for award: Home Depot announced it is partnering with the National Motorsports Press Association to present a humanitarian award. This year's winner will be named during the NMPA Myers Brother Awards in Las Vegas. The award recognizes an individual in the NASCAR community who has shown a dedication to to helping others and improving communities through service and giving. Home Depot will award the winner a $100,000 donation for a charity of the recipeint's choice. "Giving back is a fundamental value of the Home Depot," said Frank Bifulco, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Home Depot.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-5-2009)

  • Yarborough shows Logano around Darlington Raceway: The learning curve in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is steep and on Wednesday at Darlington Raceway class was in session for one of the most heralded rookies in series history. The student, Joey Logano, got a one-on-one tutoring session with one of the most legendary names, not only in Darlington history, but NASCAR history, Cale Yarborough. Yarborough invited Joey into his classroom, in this case a 3,400 pound stock car, and took him for a ride at the track Too Tough to Tame. Yarborough is no stranger to Darlington Raceway. The Timmonsville, S.C. native reminisced about sneaking under the fence during his younger days just to catch a glimpse of the action on the track. Sneaking in would eventually pay off, Yarborough would go on to win a record five Southern 500 victories making him the ideal teacher for the young driver looking to break out in NASCARs top touring division. Meeting Cale, spending time with him and listening to his stories about Darlington was by far one of the coolest things I have ever done, said Logano. Just getting out on the track and riding with him was such a neat experience. He definitely had me on the edge of my seat a few times, but he also gave me some great tips that I can use when I get back here for the Southern 500.
    Joey is a great kid who has a ton of talent and potential, said five-time Southern 500 winner, Yarborough. I didnt sugar coat anything, I told him Darlington would be the toughest place he raced all year. I also told him that there is no victory as sweet as winning the Southern 500. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com.(Darlington Raceway PR)(4-23-2009)

  • J.D. Gibbs gives Joey Logano vote of confidence: Rumors earlier this month that Joe Gibbs Racing considered replacing #20-Joey Logano with Martin Truex Jr. didn't reach Logano until Joe Gibbs told the rookie they weren't true. "I like this saying: the brighter the spotlight on you, the more bugs it attracts," Logano said. "The more people are going to talk about you, the more all that's going to happen. ... If people want to make stuff up that's fine." Since then, the organization has emphasized its confidence in the 18-year-old's future. "Watching everything he's done up to this point, he's really gifted," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "He's the guy; we feel like he's the guy of the future." Tony Stewart's departure from JGR one season before his contract expired caused the vacancy in the #20 Toyota. Gibbs said there was talk of keeping Logano longer in Nationwide, but Cup and Nationwide cars are too different. They knew 2009 would be a challenging year. "Before the year's out we expect to be out front challenging, and next year we'd like to come out of the box and grow," Gibbs said. "I don't care who you are in this sport, you have to perform as a team or you won't be here. There's no franchising to guarantee a spot."(Orlando Sentinel)(4-17-2009)

  • $10 Million, Just for Motor Oil: The most advanced piece of technology in a NASCAR vehicle these days isn't its engine, its suspension or anything made of carbon fiber. It's the motor oil. Joe Gibbs Racing has spent about $1 million a year over the past decade to perfect its motor oil. As a result, its engines have squeezed out an extra 10 horsepower, a roughly 2% increase that can be a serious advantage in NASCAR races.With NASCAR increasingly cracking down on the use of technology in the sport to cut costs, motor oil is one of the last places teams can innovate without restraint. Companies like Shell, Quaker State and Mobil also make special oils packed with synthetic lubricants, new polymers and experimental molecules for the teams they sponsor. All this has spawned a culture of secrecy. Shell was so worried about protecting its motor-oil formula that it recently refused to allow used race oil to be sold as a souvenir to NASCAR fans. The concern, a spokesman said, is that someone could "reverse engineer" the used oil to see what its properties are. Joe Gibbs Racing, one of NASCAR's richest and most-successful teams, won't say which company assembles its synthetic oil and will only identify the scientists who work on its formula as "William the chemist," who's in charge of formulating the oil, and "Douglas," who used to work for NASA and is in charge of analyzing the team's worn engine parts under a microscope. "I don't want other teams trying to find out who these guys are," says Lake Speed Jr., who runs the team's oil program.(Wall Street Journal)(4-13-2009)

  • 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)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing teams up with IMG: Joe Gibbs Racing is finalizing a broad-based relationship with IMG that will give the NASCAR team access to the agencys full range of sponsorship sales, measurement and activation capabilities. The agreement between JGR and IMG will not preclude the race team from working with other agencies and their clients, said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. It simply gives Gibbs Racing the ability to tap into IMGs resources, most notably the agencys return-on-investment tools. You reach a point over the years that you either need to increase what you have in-house and make yourself a lot larger or you need to tap into someone else, said Gibbs, whose father, Joe founded the race team in 1992. JGRs front office includes five employees under Dean Noble, the teams vice president of business, and four under Dave Alpern, the vice president of marketing. Noble and Alpern will be JGRs day-to-day contacts with IMG. IMG will take a team approach that includes Tom Knox, who runs the motorsports-heavy Charlotte office, newly hired Mark Dyer and Jim Tucker, who previously has sold for NASCAR, the NFL and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Its uncertain if IMG will eventually embed a salesperson in the Charlotte-based Gibbs Racing headquarters, as it did with the NHRA and typically does with its college clients. There is not an ownership stake for IMG, and IMG Sports and Entertainment President George Pyne has said ownership is not in IMGs plans. Neither side revealed details of the arrangement, but typically they involve a retainer fee and a percentage of sales. This adds a lot of value to JGR, said Gibbs, who credited a lengthy relationship with Pyne for driving the deal. Pyne formerly was the chief operating officer at NASCAR, where he worked for 11 years. Gibbs said the decision wasnt driven by the current economic climate, but rather a need for JGR to better assist its sponsors. The more information the team can present to its sponsors, the smoother those renewal discussions typically go, he said.(Sports Business Journal)(3-23-2009)

  • Logano Slated To Be Youngest Driver To Start A Daytona 500: When Joey Logano climbs into the #20 Home Depot Toyota for the 51st running of the Great American Race, on Sunday, Feb. 15, he will make history as the youngest driver to start a Daytona 500. If Logano, who will be 18 years, 8 months and 22 days old on the date of this years Daytona 500, can get the #20 Home Depot Toyota and his Joe Gibbs Racing team into Gatorade Victory Lane in his first Daytona 500 start, he will surpass Jeff Gordon as the youngest driver to win The Great American Race. Gordon won his first Daytona 500 back in 1997 at the age of 25. Before Logano suits up for the 51st annual Daytona 500, he will first compete in a rare Daytona double on Saturday, Feb. 7 when he races in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA/REMAX Series season opener and the Budweiser Shootout All-Star race. In addition, Logano will participate in Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 8, the Gatorade Duel At Daytona on Thursday, Feb. 12 and the Camping World 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener on Saturday, Feb. 14.(DIS PR)(1-30-2009)

  • Joe Gibbs flips opponent in match race: It may have been just for fun, but NASCAR team owner [#11,#18,#20] and Hall-of-Fame coach Joe Gibbs made good on his promise to refuse to lose in Friday night's Arena Racing match race at the Hampton Coliseum. Gibbs started second in the one-on-one 10-lap race against friend and longtime team sponsor Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries. Gibbs fell back slightly at first, then caught Miller and bumped him a few times to the delight of the crowd of an estimated 4,000 fans -- many wearing Washington Redskins gear. With about 2 laps remaining, Gibbs cut low in Turn 3 and smacked the left fender of Miller's car. Miller flipped. Gibbs drove by and crossed the finish line first. Miller was unhurt and jovial after the race. The Arena Racing half-scale stock cars compete on a 1/10-mile aluminum track, reaching speeds of up to 50 mph. The founder of Arena Racing USA is Richmonder Ricky Dennis, a former stock car racer and son of Bill Dennis, who was a NASCAR standout. Bill Dennis was 1970 Cup series Rookie of the Year.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(1-24-2009)

  • Farm Bureau Insurance to sponsor JGR for 6 races: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that the Farm Bureau Insurance Companies will serve as the primary sponsor for six Sprint Cup Series races during the 2009 season. Farm Bureau Insurance will be carried on the #11 Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin twice during the upcoming season including the May 9 race at Darlington and the September 6 race at Atlanta. In addition Farm Bureau Insurance will be on the #20 Toyota driven by Joey Logano at the October 25 race at Martinsville. Both FedEx and The Home Depot will still be represented on their respective cars at each of those races. Farm Bureau Insurance will also sponsor a fourth JGR entry at three races in 2009 on the #02 Toyota at the October 17 Charlotte race, the November 8 Texas race and the November 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale at Homestead. The driver for those three races will be announced later. Farm Bureau Insurance has been an outstanding partner with us and were thrilled to have them on these six Cup races this year, said Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs. We were able to generate a lot of excitement for them last year and well work hard this year to provide their agents, members and customers a program to be proud of now in our Cup program.(JGR PR)
    IMAGES: see images of the cars on my #02 Team Schemes page, #11 Team Schemes page and/or #20 Team Schemes page.(1-19-2009)

  • Gibbs to race sponsor: Arena Racing USA announced that Washington Redskins Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs will be appearing at the January 23rd Arena Racing event at the Hampton Coliseum. During his appearance, he will be racing Interstate Batteries Chairman, Norm Miller. They will be competing in two identical ArenaCars for bragging rights between them and possibly the first race of its kind with a top Sprint Cup Owner against his Sponsor.(Arena Racing) Joe Gibbs owns Joe Gibbs Racing and Norm Miller's company, Interstate Batteries sponsor's one of Gibb's driver, #18-Kyle Busch in six 2009 races.(1-16-2009)

  • Marc Davis to attempt some early NNS races, Cup later: Here they come already: the Davises. Driver Marc, 18, and his father, Harry, are doing it the old-fashioned way. They're fielding a family-owned, barely sponsored, one-car team, fighting the odds and the big money. Marc and Harry Davis hope to open some sponsorship wallets with a part-time, family-owned venture in 2009. Marc Davis will try to qualify for six Nationwide races in a row, beginning just after Daytona, this winter. He'll run two Toyotas his father has acquired. Then later this year they plan to enter a handful of Cup races. They're still friends with Joe Gibbs Racing, where Marc has been a developmental driver and maintains a relationship, and with Randy Moss Motorsports and Roush Racing -- all of whom tried to find major sponsorships to run Marc regularly in Nationwide or Trucks this season, but failed. But no more waiting. The Davises will do it themselves.(ESPN.com)(1-9-2009)

2008 News

  • Logano to test at Daytona for ARCA: Joey Logano, 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Candiate, is scheduled to among the more than 40 drivers expected to take part in the three-day ARCA Series test on Dec 19, 20, 21. The test is open to the public. Guests can purchase a tram-only $10 at Daytona 500 Experience for transportation into the Sprint FANZONE inside the infield of Daytona International Speedway.(ARCA PR), Logano is scheduled to run the ARCA races at Daytona and Pocono in 2009,(12-16-2008)

  • New gas man at the #20: Veteran racer Jeff Clark [formerly from DEI] is the new gasman for the #20 Home Depot Toyota of Joey Logano at Joe Gibbs Racing.(FoxSports)(12-11-2008)

  • Logano to run Daytona ARCA race? UPDATE 2: Look for Joey Logano, scheduled to run the #20 Home Depot Toyota in 2009, to test at Dayotna in December in Venturini Motorsports ARCA car and may run the ARCA race at Daytona in February. Logano ran for Venturini Motorsports at Talladega and finished 2nd.(12-1-2008)
    UPDATE: Venturini Motorsports announced that the Concord, NC-based team would be fielding a full-time ARCA RE/MAX Series team in 2009 with Surrey British, Columbia driver Ryan Fischer as the driver. Fischer has nine previous ARCA Series starts in 2007 and 2008 for Venturini Motorsports with a career-best finish of third at Kentucky Speedway in 2008. Venturini Motorsports also announced that veteran crew chief Steve Darne would be crew chiefing for Fischer. In addition, Venturini Motorsports announced a continued alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing under which Sprint Cup Series driver #20-Joey Logano would be running at least two ARCA RE/MAX Series races for Venturini Motorsports in 2009 at Daytona and Pocono.(ARCARacing.com)(12-7-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Venturini Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing will continue their alliance in 2009, beginning with the ARCA RE/MAX Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 7th. JGR rookie phenom Joey Logano will be piloting the Venturini Motorsports prepared Toyota Camry in the legendary #25. On top of running the season opener at Daytona, Logano will also race for Venturini Motorsports on June 6th in the Pocono ARCA 200 at Pocono Raceway. I am thrilled to have extended our alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing into the 2009 season, and am truly honored to have such a great talent as Joey Logano in our car, commented Bill Venturini. Myself and my whole Venturini Motorsports team are excited for this upcoming season, and wish to thank Joe Gibbs Racing for this opportunity.(Venturini Motorsports PR)(12-10-2008)

  • Stewart's Foundation Awards $20,000 To Indiana Racehorse Charity The charitable organization of Tony Stewart has awarded a $20,000 grant to Indianapolis-based Friends of Ferdinand, Inc. (FFI), a not-for-profit volunteer organization that works with owners and trainers at the state's two horse tracks to identify and obtain thoroughbreds that are nearing the end of their racing careers. Funds provided by the Tony Stewart Foundation will help FFI evaluate and retrain the horses, and find new, forever homes with devoted, caring owners. More than 200 horses have been transitioned from the track into new careers as show horses, dressage competitors, pleasure and trail riders, equine therapeutic program partners, pasture mates and beloved companions. Several thoroughbreds, the first horses to be christened "Tony's Ex-Racers," were brought into the FFI program Nov. 17 during the annual end-of-season paddock sale at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind. Representatives of both Friends of Ferdinand and the Tony Stewart Foundation were on hand to take a look at available horses and select those destined to become "Tony's Ex-Racers." A total of 10 horses will be brought into the program as "Tony's Ex-Racers" - those obtained from the Hoosier Park paddock sale, and two or three others already in line to come off the track and into FFI's care.(IMS PR)(11-23-2008)

  • Home Depot to honor Stewart at Homestead: #20-Tony Stewart will close another chapter in his racing career this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he competes in his final Sprint Cup Series race with Joe Gibbs Racing after a 10-year relationship with the team and sponsor Home Depot. Home Depot will pay tribute to Tony Stewart's last start with the team with a card stunt that says, "Thanks Tony for 10 Great Years" on the frontstretch at Homestead-Miami Speedway prior to Sunday's Ford 400. See images at RacingOne.com.(11-16-2008)

  • Last race for Stewart at Gibbs: Tony Stewart will drive his last race behind the wheel of the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing Sunday at Homestead, ending a 10-year run that saw Stewart earn rookie of the year honors in 1999, a championship in 2002, another championship in 2005, and 33 point-paying victories in between. Having accomplished almost everything there is to accomplish as a driver, Stewart will reach even higher in 2009 as he becomes a driver/owner in the Sprint Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing. As Stewart looks forward to 2009, in his rearview mirror lay the accolades mentioned above as well as 10 poles, 129 top-fives, 206 top-10s and 10,225 laps led in 355 career Sprint Cup starts  all of which have come with Joe Gibbs Racing. Sundays season-ending race at Homestead will mark Stewarts 356th and last Sprint Cup start with the team owned by Joe Gibbs  the three-time Super Bowl winner as head coach of the Washington Redskins and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.(JGR PR)(11-16-2008)

  • Some spotter changes in 2009: Hearing that Earl Barban [currently at the #38 team] will be back as the spotter for #48 Jimmie Johnson and current spotter, Stevie Reeves will join Yates Racing and Paul Menard [will be the #98 team]. Bob Jeffrey, the spotter for #17 Matt Kenseth will join Stewart-Hass Racing to work with #14-Tony Stewart. Mike Calinoff, who started 2008 with #40-Dario Franchitti at Chip Ganassi Racing before the team shut down and has been spotting for #20-Stewart during The Chase, will return to Roush-Fenway Racing and work with #17-Matt Kenseth. Barban spent two years with Johnson previously and Calinoff was with Kenseth for six seasons, including the Championship season in 2003.(11-15-2008)

  • 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 Gods 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 dont know where it started, where it came from, but its frustrating for everybody. You cant just say stuff like that. Thats crazy talk. So for me, I would say, look, hes in the car. Its done. Thats been done a long time ago. The Nationwide stuff, hes done a great job with it. Cup is harder. Hey, youre going to have your struggles. All of our guys have. Hell be fine. Hes 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)

  • Stewart named parade grand marshall for Fiesta Bowl: Two-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 38th Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. As grand marshal, Stewart will not only lead this years Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade, but will also serve as a special guest at the 38th Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Monday, January 5, 2009, where he will participate in the pre-game festivities and coin toss. The 38th Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade is scheduled for Saturday, January 3, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. in central Phoenix. This years theme, Spirit of the Southwest, honors the essence of Arizonas breathtaking desert landscapes and unique cultural heritage. Reserved seating for the Parade is $25 and is available by calling the Fiesta Bowl Ticket Office at 480-350-0911 or by visiting www.fiestabowl.org.(True Speed Communications PR)(11-8-2008)

  • Stewart finally wins at Talladega: #20-Tony Stewart won the Amp 500 at Talladega Superspeedway for his 1st win of 2008, his 1st win ever in a Cup race at Talladega after six 2nd place finishes and his 33rd career win [ties him for 17th all time wins with Fireball Roberts]. It was Stewart's first win in 43 races, Watkins Glen in 2007 and the 9th season in a row [every season] that Stewart has won at least one race. #01-Regan Smith was 2nd but he passed Stewart at the start-finish line after passing the #20 under the yellow line and was penalized and credited with a finish of 18th. So #15-Menard is 2nd [his best career finish and first ever top-5 finish] followed by #6-Ragan, #31-Burton, #07-Bowyer, #43-Labonte, #66-Riggs, #7-Gordon, #48-Johnson and #19-Sadler. There were 64 lead changes among 28 drivers, 10 cautions for 41 laps and 2 red flags for the two big wrecks which lasted a little over 29 minutes.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Talladega Race Results Awards Page.
    Chase and Classic Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Talladega.(10-5-2008)

  • New spotter for Stewart? According to The Home Depot pre-race report Mike Calinoff (Ganassi #40) is listed as the spotter for #20-Tony Stewart. (True Speed Communication), regular spotter, Mark Robertson, will spot for Joey Logano at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, who will drive the #96 Home Depot Toyota there.(9-12-2008)

  • Tony and Zippy OK: #20-Tony Stewart said Wednesday all is well between the two-time champion and crew chief Greg Zipadelli despite their post-race squabble at Richmond. Stewart criticized Zipadelli and his crew as he pulled onto pit road following Sunday's second-place finish at Richmond International Raceway. He blamed the team for the loss - he gave up the lead during a late pit stop and was unable to catch winner Jimmie Johnson in the closing laps - and Zipadelli sharply reminded him they win and lose as a group. "I don't know why everybody is making such a big deal about it," Stewart said during NASCAR's media day for the Chase for the championship. "That's two guys that were talking on the radio that are competitive and don't like to lose. I'd much rather have a crew chief that gets as fired up as me than I would a guy that said `Yeah, yeah, it's OK.'(Associated Press)(9-11-2008)

  • Smoke Show brings in $217k: #20-Tont Stewart made a special visit Tuesday to Texas Motor Speedway to conduct the inaugural Smoke Show fantasy camp to benefit the Speedway Childrens Charities-Texas Chapter and the event raised a record $217,000. That total makes the Smoke Show the largest grossing single-day event in the history of SCC-Texas Chapter. The Smoke Show benefitting SCC was born from a public relations event with Stewart last year that was held with a select group of media. The concept was transformed into a fund-raising event and Stewart was more than willing to participate once again. Twenty-nine participants, who paid between $6,000 and $8,250 for the day, enjoyed the full race experience, complete with driver suit, parade laps, driver introductions, Victory Lane celebration and two 10-lap driving sessions where they got behind the wheel of a stock car. The group even got some driving tips and, of course, some good-natured ribbing from Stewart. The money raised will be distributed to non-profit organizations across Denton, Tarrant, Collin and Dallas counties.(TMS PR)(8-27-2008)

  • Logano tests in FL: Joey Logano, who was named Monday as Tony Stewart's 2009 replacement in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, tested at New Smyrna Speedway on Tuesday with his future team. Logano is expected to make his first Sprint Cup start next weekend at Richmond [in the #02 Home Depot Toyota.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-27-2008)

    .
  • JGR to announce new #20 driver Monday UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing has called a 2pm/et Monday news conference to introduce Joey Logano as the full-time driver of the #20 next season, according to a racing source. The 18-year-old phenom will replace Tony Stewart, who will be a driver-owner at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. "We still aren't ready to come out and say here's definitely the plan,'' Gibbs said. "So Monday is our press conference.'' Gibbs also would not acknowledge that Home Depot will be on the car even though it has another year on its contract with JGR or that Greg Zipadelli would stay on as crew chief of the #20. But he did acknowledge that Home Depot has been a great partner "so we'd love to see that go on.'' Logano is expected to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond in three weeks [either in the #02 JGR Toyota or #96 HOF Toyota].(ESPN.com)(8-24-2008)
    UPDATE: Logano will take the wheel next season of the #20 Toyota Camry Sprint Cup Series race car currently driven by Tony Stewart, the Bristol Herald Courier has learned. Loganos move  rumored and dissected for months  was confirmed Saturday evening at Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the start of the NSCS Sharpie 500 by a high-ranking official affiliated with one of NASCARs premier motorsports manufacturing teams. Joey Logano & next year is going to be the 20 car, said the Toyota official, who did not want to be named because a Monday announcement is expected by Joe Gibbs Racing.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-24-2008)
    UPDATE2: Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that The Home Depot will continue its sponsorship of the Sprint Cup #20 Toyota team in 2009 and beyond, and that Joey Logano, one of the sports brightest emerging stars, will take over the duties behind the wheel of one of NASCARs most successful race teams. Logano will make his NASCAR Spirit Cup series debut on Sept. 6 at Richmond International Raceway in a Home Depot sponsored car featuring a reverse color scheme and bearing the #02. In addition, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the #20 Home Depot Toyota Sprint Cup Series for the past 10 years, will remain atop the pit box as Loganos crew chief.
    Obviously today is an exciting day for the Joe Gibbs racing family as The Home Depot has been and will continue to be an important part of our success, said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. Joey (Logano) has already shown he will be a tremendous talent on the track and a great representative for The Home Depot off the track.We are also fortunate to have someone as talented and experienced as Greg Zipadelli guide him through the start of what promises to be a phenomenal career.
    The Home Depot is the Official Home Improvement Retailer of NASCAR and has sponsored the #20 Home Depot Racing team for the past 10 years. The Home Depot first entered NASCAR in 1999 with a multi-year deal with Joe Gibbs Racing and then-rookie Tony Stewart. Tony Stewart was honored as Rookie of the Year in 1999 and as the NASCAR Cup Series Champion in 2002 and 2005. Stewart has captured 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point victories since 1999.
    The Home Depot is thrilled to welcome Joey Logano as the new driver of the #20 Home Depot car, said Frank Bifulco, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of The Home Depot. To have such a talented, young driver, with a bright future join the team truly makes this a special opportunity for our NASCAR program. Were also extremely gratified to continue to be working with Joe Gibbs Racing and Greg Zipadelli, as we have had great success together over the past decade.
    Loganos ascent to NASCARs Sprint Cup Series is the latest and greatest step in a rapid rise for the 18-year-old, who began competing in quarter-midgets at the age of six and has built an impressive career that includes numerous records and championships. This past May he celebrated his 18th birthday by making his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut just seven days later in Dover, DE, where he finished sixth. His first Nationwide Series victory would come just two races later when he captured the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway on June 14. In just 10 starts in the Nationwide Series, Logano has already earned the pole twice and captured three top-five and seven top-ten finishes.
    I just feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be in this position, said Logano Joe Gibbs Racing has provided me tremendous support each step of the way and the opportunity to work with the absolute best in the business. I cant explain the feeling to become a part of such an awesome Home Depot team and Im going to just focus on working as hard as I can to prepare for next season. Zipadelli has served as crew chief on the #20 team for the last decade, helping lead one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history that has included two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Everyone on the #20 Home Depot team is excited about todays announcements, said Zipadelli. Obviously our commitment remains focused on trying to win a championship this year, but were thrilled to know our future is solid with The Home Depot on board and the opportunity to add someone as talented as Joey to our team.
    The Home Depot has been such an important part of our history here, said JGR owner and founder Joe Gibbs. I have been fortunate to develop a number of close friendships with many of the people at The Home Depot over the past 10 years and we want to make sure that we always deliver on their commitment to us. We feel the team we have in place going forward with Zippy as crew chief and Joey driving will keep that #20 team strong and represent The Home Depot in a great manner.(Joe Gibbs Racing site)(8-25-2008)

  • JGR names Director of Corporate Communications: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has named Chris Helein as its director of corporate communications, effective immediately. Helein spent the past two seasons in the NFL as vice president of public relations for the Washington Redskins, where in his second stint with the organization, he worked closely with former head coach and three-time Super Bowl winner Joe Gibbs. In his new position, Helein will lead all aspects of JGR's public relations efforts, which will include serving as the primary media liaison for JGR and working closely with each team's sponsor representatives. For the remainder of the 2008 racing season, Helein will work alongside Mike Arning and True Speed Communication, the firm that has handled JGR's corporate communications since 2003. Arning will continue his role as the at-track liaison for JGR and the #20 Home Depot team in the Sprint Cup Series through the season finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(JGR PR)(8-23-2008)

  • Logano to make Cup debut at RIR UPDATE maybe not: The plan is finally in place for Joey Logano to begin his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career, with a handful of races scheduled this season in Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. A source close to the team said Saturday that Logano will run six or seven Sprint Cup races with sponsorship from Gatorade between now and the end of the 2008 campaign, in an effort to gain NASCAR approval for Logano to run for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors next season. Plans call for the 18-year old Connecticut native to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond International Raceway on September 6th, with additional races to be announced within the next 2-3 weeks. He will also run the ARCA ReMax Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for Venturini Motorsports, to satisfy NASCAR requirements for him to compete in the 2009 Daytona 500.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-12-2008)
    UPDATE: Logano will drive in selected Sprint Cup Series races this season for Joe Gibbs Racing, but the team is still deciding where he will make his debut. Logano made his first Nationwide start days after turning 18 in May and now boasts a victory and two pole positions for JGR. His early success has accelerated talks about moving the rookie into NASCAR's premier circuit. Bill Janitz, Logano's spokesman, said a debut next month at Richmond International Raceway was probable but the number of races was undetermined. Janitz denied Gatorade would be the sponsor. Richmond "has been talked about a few times," Logano said. Logano also is waiting on word from his team on whether he will replace Stewart next year in the #20 Toyota.(USA Today)(8-18-2008)
    UPDATE 2: A source close to the team told Sirius Speedway Saturday that Logano will run an orange-and-white #02 Toyota at Richmond with sponsorship from the Home Depot. In addition, that source said the home improvement giant will back the Connecticut youngster in his freshman season of Cup competition in 2009. Team President J.D. Gibbs said the team has not yet finalized plans for Logano, saying, He'll run some Cup races this year, whether or not he's running the full thing next year or not.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-18-2008)


  • Stewart involved in altercation at ORP UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart expects to be fined by the U.S. Auto Club for an "altercation" with an official during Thursday night's race at O'Reilly Raceway Park. The incident occurred after points leader Tracy Hines, who drives for one of Stewart's two National Midget teams, got into the wall and there wasn't a track official or push truck present to help get the car back in the race. Hines' crew reportedly attempted to change a right rear flat and get him back into the race before another restart. As the crew pushed the car to the front of the straightaway, a USAC official indicated it was too late. Stewart then came down to pit lane to get an explanation for the call. He reportedly knocked the headset from the official's head and then shoved him. "We had an altercation," Stewart said Friday at IMS, "It was a situation [where] we didn't understand a call they made." In a statement Friday, USAC official Kevin Miller acknowledged that there was an incident but would not say who was involved.(ESPN.com and see video at wthr.com)(7-27-2008)
    UPDATE: Stewart was fined $10,000 and his team was placed on probation Monday following an altercation last week at the USAC's National Midget race in Indianapolis. Stewart was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct and conduct detrimental to racing. USAC said in a statement that Stewart was involved in an on-track incident Thursday at O'Reilly Raceway Park related to one of his Midgets driven by points leader Tracy Hines. Hines had scraped the wall and pitted for a tire change, but his car was not deemed ready to re-enter the race in time to rejoin the field for the restart. Stewart then came down to pit lane to get an explanation for the call. He reportedly knocked the headset from the official's head and then shoved him. "USAC immediately assessed the incident and it was determined that unacceptable behavior detrimental to the sport had occurred, and that the professionalism and the integrity of the series and its promoters had been severely compromised," Jason Smith, USAC's vice president of racing operations, said in the statement. "While we respect the passion of our teams in the spirit of competition, we regret this incident occurred and are dedicated to averting a recurrence in the future."
    Stewart, who apologized Monday, also agreed to pay for the costs of new radios and uniforms for USAC officials. "My own misinterpretation of USAC policies in place at the time led to confusion and elevated emotions," Stewart said. "I'm very passionate about my race team and will stand up for them when I think something isn't right. Obviously, I handled this particular situation the wrong way, and if I had to do it over again, it never would've happened."(ESPN.com)(7-29-2008)

  • Newman not going to the #20 car: Strike Joe Gibbs Racing from the list of potential employers for Ryan Newman. Newman's name has been most prominently mentioned to land with Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Sources close to the situation said he also has had discussions with JGR, Richard Childress Racing and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. An RCR official said on Friday that he expected Newman to go to Stewart, and JGR president J.D. Gibbs said on Sunday it was unlikely the driver of Penske Racing's #12 could join his Toyota team. "It would be hard," Gibbs said before the Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Another time, another day, maybe. He's a great individual. You would love to have him on your team. It's just all those ducks aren't in a row." Gibbs did say he was getting closer to naming a driver to replace Tony Stewart in the #20 next season. Joey Logano, the 18-year-old sensation in the Nationwide Series, remains the front-runner for that spot. Gibbs also said speculation JGR would expand to four teams in 2009 was unlikely. "Next year would be hard," Gibbs said.(ESPN.com)(7-28-2008)

  • Office Depot/Old Spice to be co-primaries for Tony Stewart in the #14: Office Depot and Old Spice will serve as co-primary sponsors of Tony Stewart's #14 Chevrolet Impala SS Sprint Cup Series entry beginning in 2009. Officials from the two companies, as well as from Stewart-Haas Racing, made the announcement today near Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Office Depot, a leading global provider of office products and services, along with Old Spice, the #1 antiperspirant/deodorant stick and body wash choice for guys in the United States, have entered into multi-year agreements with Stewart-Haas Racing to sponsor the new entry driven by Stewart. In addition, both Office Depot and Old Spice are official NASCAR partners, successfully leveraging their relationships with NASCAR and their race team sponsorships as powerful marketing platforms for their brands.

    "To have Office Depot and Old Spice throw their support behind me and this race team makes me extremely proud," said Stewart, who announced on July 10 that he had acquired a 50% stake in what is now known as Stewart-Haas Racing. "These are two partnerships that make a lot of sense. Office Depot focuses on small business owners, and with my role as a driver and owner next year, I'm both their spokesman and their customer - and I have been for years, because with two USAC teams, two World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series teams and three race tracks, you need a smooth-running office if you expect your business to run right. Old Spice has been with me for nine years, but our 10th year together is obviously going to be pretty big. This is a major commitment for the Old Spice brand, and we're going to make sure the success we've enjoyed over the years continues."

    "Tony is a successful entrepreneur who has an impressive record as a small business owner. This is one of the reasons why he is such a perfect fit for Office Depot," said Chuck Rubin, President of North American Retail for Office Depot. "We believe that Tony's passion to win and relentless pursuit of excellence truly embody the essence of the Office Depot brand and represent the commitments we make every single day to help our customers be successful."

    Old Spice, a brand of Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble (P&G), is the official antiperspirant/deodorant of NASCAR, and its longstanding partnership with Stewart has helped Old Spice become the leader in its category, as well as the male body wash category. "We've really valued our relationship with Tony and have been growing our partnership for over nine years now," said Alex Keith, P&G Beauty, General Manager, North America Deodorants. "It's been a great program for Old Spice, and when he came to us with the opportunity to make it even bigger, we knew it was the right move. We're absolutely thrilled to be on board."

    Also supporting Stewart's Office Depot/Old Spice effort in 2009 will be Chevrolet. The winner of 31 manufacturer's championships since coming to Sprint Cup in 1955, Chevrolet adds another powerful team to its already potent lineup with the addition of Stewart-Haas Racing.Putting an exclamation point on Stewart's new ride for 2009 is that his red and black Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet will carry the #14, made famous by the legendary A.J. Foyt. "Tony and I have been friends for a long time," said Foyt, a winner of four Indianapolis 500s, the 1972 Daytona 500 and the 1967 24 Hours of LeMans. "I think I first met him when he was running Midgets. It was quite a while ago so I don't actually remember where and when. A few times he drove the Silver Crown car I had with George Snider back in the mid-90s and I gave him his first test in an Indy car in Phoenix (in 1995) and he ran pretty quick as I recall. In addition to being quick, he's always told it how it is. I don't think there's anyone better to carry the #14."

    Stewart has always admired what Foyt, currently an IRL IndyCar Series owner, accomplished in a driving career that began in 1957 and spanned such racing divisions as Indy car, NASCAR, USAC and sports car racing. "A.J. has always been my hero and will always be #1 on my hero list, with the best part being that we are really good friends," Stewart said. "We obviously have a tremendous amount of respect for one another. I remember him calling me after I won my first Cup championship in 2002 and I remember how much it meant to have him call that night and congratulate me. We really do have similar pasts and carry a lot of characteristics that are the same. He is one of the greatest icons in racing worldwide and to be compared to him in any way is always a huge honor. We came up through the same types of cars, from Sprint Cars to Midgets, and then I went to the IRL and moved into NASCAR. A.J. ran Indy cars for a long time and still came into stock car racing and was successful. There aren't a lot of guys that can go from car to car and still win races. It was something that A.J. was really good at and something that we have been very fortunate to replicate. He has given a lot back to racing and has been one of its biggest supporters. Without guys like him, guys like me wouldn't have had a chance to succeed."(True Speed Communication PR), see all the other past news/rumors on the #66 Team News and Links page AND no word if the #14 will be the #66 or #70 team, supposedly Stewart's 2nd team is looking to use the #4.(7-25-2008)

  • Tony Stewart donates bulletproof K-9 vests: Tony Stewart is donating bulletproof, stab-proof vests to police dogs in Indiana and four other states. Stewart, a Columbus native, donated the money to provide 30 vests for the Indiana State Police K-9 unit and 10 for police dogs waiting for vests in Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and Minnesota. Susie Jean of Socorro, N.M., requested a grant from the Tony Stewart Foundation for vests for the 14 dogs currently in the Indiana State Police unit. Stewart upped the amount to cover more vests upon learning the state police unit was expanding to 30 dogs. The vests cost $695 each, according to Jean's Web site, meaning 40 vests would total nearly $28,000. Stewart will present the vests to state police Thursday at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont.(Associated Press/Indianapolis Star)(7-23-2008)

  • Gibbs Focusing on Logano to Replace Stewart UPDATE: Top management of Joe Gibbs Racing wouldn't come out and say on Saturday that Joey Logano will replace Tony Stewart in the Sprint Cup series next season, but they didn't say anything to indicate otherwise. Team owner Joe Gibbs and president J.D. Gibbs both agreed Logano will play a huge part in the organization going forward. They oozed with compliments for the 18-year-old phenom, who won his third Nationwide Series start and has three top 10s in four events. They talked about his maturity. They reminded that Stewart, who announced on Thursday he will leave the organization after this season to become the driver/owner at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009, didn't have a win when he partnered with Home Depot in 1999. "We're going to look at everything out there before we make a decision," J.D. Gibbs said before the Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway. "Generally, guys that are really gifted and real good show it right away. We've had a lot of drivers at JGR. All the good ones have popped right away. He has that."(ESPN.com)(7-13-2008)
    UPDATE: Joey Logano says he isn't campaigning to drive the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Sprint Cup car next season. Even so, the 18-year-old JGR Nationwide Series driver contends that he is interested in the ride, which will be vacated at season's end by Tony Stewart. "Nothing has really changed," said Logano at Gateway International Raceway. "It's pretty much the same deal. If they offer it to me, I'd take it. It's something that has been talked about but I'm not in a position to say anything. I don't really know what I'm going to do yet. ... I'm focused on the # 20 Nationwide car right now and from there that is [team owner] Joe [Gibbs] and [team president] J.D.'s [Gibbs] deal."(SceneDaily.com)(7-20-2008)

  • NASCAR Drivers Headline M&Ms Night of Stars at I-55 Raceway July 23: Traditionally, it has been one of the biggest nights in racing in the St. Louis area and this year's M&Ms Night of Stars at I-55 Raceway isn't going to disappoint. In addition to drivers such as I-55 Raceway co-owner Ken Schrader and defending Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday, two-time Sprint Cup Series champion and Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart is scheduled to race the high-banked 1/3-mile track on Wednesday, July 23. Stewart and his NASCAR comrades are racing UMP Modifieds that night with proceeds from the event benefitting the Special Olympics. In addition to Stewart, Schrader, and Hornaday, other drivers scheduled to appear are: Ken Schrader Ricky Carmichael and Craftsman Truck Series veterans Brendan Gaughn, Rick Crawford, and Dennis Setzer.
    AND: Two-time Sprint Cup Series champion Terry Labonte has been added to the stellar cast of stars scheduled to participate in I-55 Raceway's M&M NASCAR Night of Stars. Also added to the bill are Justin Labonte, Steve Wallace, and former World of Outlaws champion and Chili Bowl winner, Dave Blaney. Gates open at 4 p.m. on July 23 with practice starting at 6 p.m. and racing kicking off at 7 p.m. For ticket information, call 636-479-3219 or visit them on the Web at I55Raceway.com.(High Side Media PR)(7-19-2008)

  • Gibbs wants to keep team in the family: Joe Gibbs says he's not about to join the trend of offering ownership in his race team in order to retain drivers. Tony Stewart received 50% ownership in making the jump from Joe Gibbs Racing to Stewart Haas Racing. Drivers Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards (who re-signed with Roush Fenway Racing) and Ryan Newman (entertaining offers for 2009) say they've received offers that include a share of team ownership. But JGR is a family operation, and Gibbs, the family patriarch, says he plans to keep it that way. "We have eight grandchildren," Gibbs said. "I'm not worried about (sons) J.D. or Coy. But (the business) is going to be for the grandkids if I have anything to say about it."(USA Today)(7-14-2008)

  • Stewart to buy Haas CNC Racing rumors see the #66 Team News page or the #70 Team News page for the latest.

  • Statements about Stewart leaving Joe Gibbs Racing: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Tony Stewart have agreed to part ways upon the conclusion of the 2008 season. Stewart will finish the 2008 Sprint Cup season with JGR behind the wheel of the #20 Home Depot Toyota. Stewart will also compete for JGR in the two Nationwide Series races still remaining on his original, nine-race Nationwide Series schedule  July 11 at Chicagoland Speedway, and Aug. 16 at Michigan International Speedway. Stewart will pilot the #20 Old Spice Toyota in those two events.
    Weve had a lot of success with Tony in our 12 years here at Joe Gibbs Racing, said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. While this moment is bittersweet, were parting on good terms and we know that each of us has benefited greatly from the other. We grew to two teams in the Sprint Cup Series with Tony and The Home Depot in 1999, and two championships and 32 wins followed. While our time together is coming to an end, we know theres still a lot of racing left this season and we plan to make the most of it. On behalf of everyone at JGR, were proud of everything weve accomplished together with Tony and we wish him the best in pursuing his dream of NASCAR team ownership.
    I cannot thank Joe and J.D. Gibbs enough for the opportunity they gave me and for the support theyve given me throughout my entire NASCAR career, Stewart said. Ive learned so much from them and have a tremendous amount of respect for what theyve built. Ive modeled my USAC and World of Outlaws teams the same way they built their NASCAR team, and I made it a point to find good people to run those programs. If Ive learned anything from my time at Joe Gibbs Racing, its that Joe Gibbs saying of, You win with people, is incredibly true. They always surrounded me with not just good people, but great people, and the results speak for themselves. My crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, is the best example of that. Weve accomplished so much in our 10 years together on the track, and off the track, hes been like a big brother to me. Its a friendship I cherish and expect to continue, even while he stays at Joe Gibbs Racing and I move on. I also want to thank The Home Depot. Weve had a fantastic run with them, and its not over yet. We can still win races and compete for a championship and go out on top. For 2008, thats my number one goal.
    Stewarts parting from JGR at the conclusion of the 2008 season will end the longest active driver/crew chief relationship in the Sprint Cup garage. No matter what, Tony and I will remain close friends, Zipadelli said. I know when it comes to the #20 team, things will obviously be a lot different next year, but I remain as committed as ever this year to winning races with Tony and securing our spot in the Chase to contend for a third championship.
    The 20 car has been one of the all-time great partnerships in NASCAR for the last decade with the combination of Tony, Zippy, The Home Depot and Joe Gibbs Racing, said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. While we are losing one piece of the puzzle, we think the #20 team will remain strong for many years to come.
    Statement from Frank Bifulco, Chief Marketing Officer of The Home Depot regarding Tony Stewarts departure from Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the 2008 season: The Home Depot has had a remarkable relationship with Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing since our sponsorship commenced back in 1998. With two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and 32 race wins, Tony is a true competitor and an excellent ambassador for our company. Details regarding our future plans will be announced at a later date.

    Statement from Lee White, President and General Manager, Toyota Racing Development: "We fully support the decision of Joe Gibbs and J.D. Gibbs regarding this arrangement between Joe Gibbs Racing and Tony Stewart. We thank Tony and wish him the best in his future endeavors. He has been synonymous with Joe Gibbs Racing and has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with the team. In our first year together, Tony has been a valuable asset to the Toyota program. We will continue to work diligently to get Tony and his Camry to 'Victory Lane' as often as possible in the Sprint Cup Series during the remainder of this season. Our hope is that he will be able to qualify for the 'Chase' and contend for another championship."(in part from Joe Gibbs Racing site)(7-9-2008)

  • Office Depot to Stewart UPDATE 3 Stewart granted release from Gibbs: been told that Office Depot will be the sponsor for Tony Stewart in 2009 when he drives for Haas CNC Racing which is will buy in to. Hearing the announcement of the buy and deal will be made in Indianapolis the week NASCAR is in Indy for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, July 27th.(7-3-2008)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart is expected to announce a 2009 move to Haas-CNC Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in three weeks. Reliable sources tell Sirius Speedway that Stewart will also announce sponsorship from Office Depot and Old Spice as part of a new, multi-year package with Haas CNC, and that Penske Racings Ryan Newman will join him as a teammate, with sponsorship from Jack Daniels. That surprise move comes as the result of an enviable situation at Richard Childress Racing, which now has five potential sponsors for next season, and only four teams. Sirius Speedway has learned that UPS will move from Michael Waltrip Racings #44 Toyota to the quarterpanels of Clint Bowyers #07 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in 2009, leaving Jack Daniels in search of a new driver. That driver will be Newman, who is set to sign-on with Stewart at Haas CNC.(Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway)(7-7-2008)
    UPDATE 2: #20-Tony Stewart has been granted a release from the final year of his driving contract with Joe Gibbs Racing after 10 seasons with the team. "We've had a lot of success with Tony in our 12 years here at Joe Gibbs Racing," J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, said in a statement. "While this moment is bittersweet, we're parting on good terms and we know that each of us has benefited greatly from the other." On Thursday at Chicagoland Speedway, Stewart will formally announce a move to Haas/CNC Racing as co-owner and driver, sources close to Stewart said. Sources close to both sides told ESPN.com the deal will make Stewart the highest-paid driver in NASCAR. Sources also said the Stewart Haas cars will carry different numbers. The #14, made famous in IndyCar racing by Stewart's hero, A.J. Foyt, is available, but sources would neither confirm nor deny that as his choice. Sources said Stewart will own a 50% stake in the organization, but his financial investment in attaining it was not disclosed. Per Stewart's agreement with JGR, he will not attempt to hire away any members of his current team. This was a significant key to making the deal happen because the only way that Gibbs felt comfortable with putting Joey Logano in the Cup Series so quickly was to surround him with Greg Zipadelli's established, experienced crew. As ESPN.com's David Newton initially reported, Office Depot will have a role in sponsoring Stewart's car. Ryan Newman remains the lead candidate to drive Stewart Haas' second car, sources said, though no deal had yet been finalized Tuesday night. Stewart Haas will continue to receive chassis and engines from Hendrick Motorsports. Haas/CNC's current drivers, Scott Riggs and Johnny Sauter, are ranked 36th and 44th, respectively, in the owner point standings. If the team's performance fails to improve its points position during the second half of 2008, Stewart's champion's provisional will guarantee him a slot in the field for the first five races next season, presuming NASCAR doesn't change the rule.(ESPN.com)(7-9-2008)
    UPDATE 3: Joey Logano acknowledged on Wednesday that he is a candidate to replace Tony Stewart in the #20 Sprint Cup car at Joe Gibbs Racing next season. "It has been brought up a few times," Logano said as he arrived at JGR for a morning workout. Logano wasn't shocked to hear that Stewart will be released from his final year at JGR next season to pursue other opportunities. Stewart was scheduled to tell his team on Wednesday that this will be his last season, then announce on Thursday in Chicago that he has bought into Haas CNC Racing and will drive for that team with another driver -- Ryan Newman, according to sources, is all but a done deal -- next year. Stewart will unveil his new car with Office Depot as the primary sponsor at a news conference in Indianapolis in two weeks, sources said. Logano, 18, said he will focus the rest of this season on his Nationwide Series ride and hope to get into a few Cup races before the end of the year to prepare him for next season.(ESPN.com)(7-9-2008)

  • Stewart Ill and replaced in car: #20-Stewart was ill before the race, had an IV in the infield care center at Daytona, and felt better, but as the Coke Zero 400 progressed, Stewart felt worst and was replaced by former teammate, J.J. Yeley on lap 73. Yeley drives the #96 DLP Toyota, but failed to make the race.(7-5-2008)

  • Stewart ticked, defends Zippy: #20-Tony Stewart sharply defended crew chief Greg Zipadelli's decision to pit late in last weekend's race at New Hampshire, saying "it's easy to be an armchair quarterback." Stewart dominated the race but wound up 13th when officials stopped it 17 laps early because of rain. Zipadelli called for the late pit stop -- most of the leaders followed suit -- and Stewart found himself in the middle of the pack when the rain started a few minutes later. Many of Stewart's fans were critical this week of Zipadelli's call. "You see all of this criticism from people and it's people who can't even control their own lives and they want to sit here and tell us how to run race teams on the weekend," Stewart said. "I find that highly amusing that people think that they've got a better solution all the time than what we do. It's easy after it's all over to say, 'Well you should've done this. What was he thinking? If they were that smart, they would be crew chiefs, and obviously they're not that smart listening to the criticism. It just frustrates you as a driver knowing that you've got a crew chief that's won two championships and 30-plus races with you that people think they are a lot smarter than and they're not."(Associated Press/ESPN)(7-4-2008)

  • Gibbs to 4 teams in 2009? maybe: Will Joe and J. D. Gibbs have four Cup teams in 2009? Its looking good. I wouldnt rule it out&.but were in no hurry, J. D. Gibbs says. If everything lines up well, great. But if you dont have all the parts there, dont do it. Weve done this before. Weve got the key guys already. So well sit down with Mark Cronquist (the team engine man) and Jimmy Makar (the team manager) and the guys and talk it over. And if the time is right, well do it. The driver is key, obviously. The crew, wed be in good shape. The infrastructure is all there. But we wont do it until everyone signs off on it. Joey Logano? What Ive seen is the guys who are really talented, they dont need much time. Hes been on a track since he was six. And, like weve seen with Tony (Stewart) and Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin), those guys pop right away. Joey fits that mold. Some guys do get better after a while. But usually if you dont come out of the box strong, its hard to say hes going to get better down the road.
    And how about Juan Pablo Montoya? Is he a candidate for a Gibbs ride? We think the world of Juan&though I wouldnt ask Kyle that question this week, Gibbs said, laughing about the Busch-Montoya run-in at Loudon Sunday. I dont know Juans situation&. But to the best of my understanding hes there (at Chip Ganassis). So were not going to look at that. Were actually talking more about 2010 (when Stewarts contract is up).(Winston Salem Journal)(7-4-2008)

  • "Smoke" screen or is Stewart interested in the #5 ride? #20- Tony Stewart said Friday the new opening at Hendrick Motorsports could effect his decision about where he drives next season. Hendrick Motorsports announced that Casey Mears would not return in the #5 Chevrolet. "There's no one in the garage area that's not going to look in that direction," Stewart said. "You've got to look at it. Absolutely." Stewart has said he is exploring an ownership option to become the co-owner and a driver for Haas/CNC Racing. He was asked Friday when he might have a decision on his future. "At this morning's announcement [on the #5 car], I don't know," he said. "It may be pushed back even more. We'll wait and see. It's however long it takes to make the right decision. There's a lot of variables to look at. We've got all the information except what happened today. The good news is we still have time to look at it." Stewart is under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing through the 2009 season. JGR officials have said they plan to hold Stewart to his contact obligations in the #20 Toyota. Hendrick did not say who will drive the #5 Chevy next season, but ESPN.com reported Sunday Mark Martin will join the team and take over for Mears full time in one final attempt to win a Cup title.(ESPN)(6-27-2008)

  • More on Stewart and Haas CNC UPDATE done deal?: Tony Stewart is shopping for car sponsorships in anticipation of a potential partnership with Haas CNC Racing, multiple sources told ESPN.com. Although Stewart has a year left on his contract at Joe Gibbs Racing and JGR officials insist he hasn't asked for a release, the two-time Sprint Cup champion appears prepared to share ownership of Haas Racing's two-car team in 2009. One source close to the situation said there have been discussions with Ryan Newman as the second driver. Newman has said he will not return to Penske Racing if the performance of that team doesn't improve quickly. Newman's name definitely would help draw sponsorship to Haas. "He's talking to every major sponsor that is available out there for this Haas deal," one source said of Stewart and his representatives. "I don't know if it's done, but it sounds like it's very close." Office Depot and Old Spice have emerged as the favorites for at least one of the cars. Office Depot lost its bid to remain with Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing when Aflac was chosen as the primary sponsor of the #99. Sources said there have been discussions with Stewart's representatives that would make Office Depot and Old Spice co-primaries with Office Depot as the lead sponsor. Old Spice already has a relationship with Stewart in the Cup and Nationwide Series. Stewart would not address his future following Sunday's race at Infineon Raceway. JGR president J.D. Gibbs insisted Stewart had not closed the door on signing a long-term deal with the company that brought him to Cup racing in 1999 and helped him win titles in 2002 and 2005. But there is widespread speculation that the reason JGR has rushed Joey Logano into the Nationwide Series is to prepare him to take Stewart's place should Stewart leave. Stewart admitted two months ago there had been inquiries from other teams. He acknowledged there had been talks with Haas CNC that included ownership.(ESPN.com)
    AND: am hearing that Stewart leaving JGR and buying into Haas CNC Racing is a done deal, supposedly the 2nd driver could be Martin Treux Jr. Hearing the sponsors could be UPS and Bass Pro Shops.(6-26-2008)
    UPDATE: supposedly the deal is done, earlier Friday, a source close to the situation said that Chevrolet has agreed to terms with Joe Gibbs Racing to buy Tony Stewart out of his contract with the #20-Toyota Sprint Cup racing team. Stewart will indeed be making the move to Haas CNC Racing, a rumor that has been circulating for months. Supposedly Stewarts new sponsor will be Office Depot and terms have been finalized regarding the impending sponsorship. In addition, Stewart will be joined by #12 Penske Racing driver Ryan Newman, who would be sponsored by Burger King. No word yet on what car numbers the drivers will run and an announcement could come as early as next week at the Daytona International Speedway.( Captain Thunder)(6-27-2008)

  • Zippy has an out if Stewart leaves, but may not: #20 crew chief, Greg Zipadelli insists he doesn't know what Tony Stewart will decide about his future, which, according to his contract, should include at least another year at JGR. But Zipadelli believes a decision is all but made and sounds like a man resigned to a split. "I truly have tried not to get wrapped up in that, questioning about the unknown in my mind,'' he said. "When that comes, I'll worry about that. Right now, I need to worry about me, my guys, my family and this race team and being in the top 12 in points.'' Should Stewart leave, Zipadelli could go with him and extend the longest crew chief-driver reign in Cup. The long-term extension he signed with JGR last season has outs in it if Stewart is not with the organization. But Zipadelli doesn't sound like a man seeking to start over as Stewart would be doing to some degree if he joined a fledgling race team such as Haas. He is happy at JGR and enjoys the security the company offers him and his family, which expanded by one this past Wednesday with the birth of his second son and third child.(ESPN.com)(6-18-2008)

  • Stewart to help out hometown flood victims UPDATE: When #20-Tony Stewart returned to his hometown of Columbus, Ind., late Sunday night after the race at Poco# There, Stewart, a 1989 graduate of Columbus North High School saw his town under water. With people displaced and many homes severely damaged if not destroyed, Stewart quickly found a new perspective on true sorrow and disappointment. On Monday, he visited the Columbus Public Works garage and thanked all those who had been working around the clock to help restore the towns infrastructure. He also stopped by his old junior high school, which the American Red Cross had converted into a shelter for flood evacuees. There, Stewart chatted with those who had to call the gymnasium floor their temporary home, and allowed them a short distraction from the headaches and worry that came when rising flood waters significantly altered their lives. There were so many stories of hardship, Stewart wondered where to even start. The answer: Sundays LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Whatever Stewarts portion of the race winnings are in the LifeLock 400, hell donate them to the American Red Cross in Columbus, with the money specified for flood assistance. Those wishing to join Stewart in helping those affected by the floods throughout Indiana can call 812-379-9551 or send checks payable to The American Red Cross, 931 Repp Drive, Columbus, IN 47201. If writing a check, write Indiana Flood & Tornado Relief on the memo line. How is your home in Columbus? My old house by the high school is good. The farm is just wet, absolutely saturated. You cant get on it. You cant do anything. And were getting baby deer now. We have four little ones, and weve got them on the deck in a small pen because you cant get on the ground to put them anywhere. Theyre so young, you dont want them to get stuck.(True Speed Communication/JGR PR)(6-13-2008)
    UPDATE: Others who felt that #20-Tony Stewarts fifth-place effort at Michigan served as a win were those in Stewarts hometown of Columbus, Ind. The area was ravaged by flooding last weekend, and Stewarts portion of the $136,986 he earned by finishing fifth in the LifeLock 400 will be donated to the American Red Cross in Columbus, with the money specified for flood assistance. Those wishing to join Stewart in helping those affected by the floods throughout Indiana can call 812-379-9551 or send checks payable to The American Red Cross, 931 Repp Drive, Columbus, IN 47201. If writing a check, write Indiana Flood & Tornado Relief on the memo line. Im happy we got a top-five for everyone in Columbus, Indiana, and that we can do something to help our community out, Stewart said. Its been on my mind all weekend. Thats what this top-five is for. When its your own community and your own neighbors, its good to generate a good amount of winnings for them.(True Speed Communication/JGR)(6-17-2008)

  • Logano could run some Sprint Cup races late this season: Joey Logano, who in only his third Nationwide Series start won on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, likely will compete in a few Sprint Cup races for Joe Gibbs Racing before the end of the season. "We would like to get him in some Cup stuff towards the end of the year," team owner Joe Gibbs said before Sunday's Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. "We want to make sure it's the good stuff and the right way." Gibbs said it was too late in the year to start a fourth Cup team for Logano to run fulltime next season. Asked if Logano might replace Tony Stewart should the two-time Cup champion leave for another team [rumored teams include Haas CNC, #5 Hendrick, 4th RCR team], Gibbs said, "I don't think we've gone in that direction yet. We're still trying to work things out." Stewart is being pursued by several teams, including at least one [Haas CNC Racing] that is offering ownership. Gibbs and his son, team president J.D. Gibbs, have been emphatic that they won't part with Stewart before his contract expires after 2009. They remain optimistic that he will re-sign with JGR and end his career there.(ESPN.com)(6-15-2008)

  • Zippy thinks Stewart has made his decision: While #20-Tony Stewart continues to play coy about his future, at least one person believes the two-time Cup champion already has decided what he plans to do. "I honestly think the decision's made, I just don't think we all know yet," crew chief Greg Zipadelli said. Stewart and Zipadelli are in their 10th season together at Joe Gibbs Racing in the longest active driver-crew chief combination in the garage.(ESPN/AP)(6-9-2008)

  • Stewart wins Prelude to the Dream: the fourth annual Old Spice Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway was won by Tony Stewart, just beating Robby Gordon. The rest of the results of the race held June 4th at Eldora Speedway: 3) Clint Bowyer, 4) Kenny Wallace, 5) Denny Hamlin, 6) Matt Kenseth, 7) Kevin Harvick, 8) Jimmie Johnson, 9) Ken Schrader, 10) Kyle Busch, 11) David Reutimann, 12) Ryan Newman, 13) Red Farmer, 14) Jeff Gordon, 15) Cruz Pedregon, 16) Ray Evernham, 17) Ron Capps, 18) Carl Edwards, 19) Aric Almirola, 20) Dave Blaney, 21) JJ Yeley, 22) Kasey Kahne, 23) Bobby Labonte, 24) Mark Martin [DNS], 25) Bill Elliott [DNS].
    Winner's average speed: 32.494 mph
    Time of race: 27:41.858
    Margin of victory: 1.502 seconds
    Cautions: 7 (Lap 2: Yeley spin T3; Lap 6: Yeley spin T3; Lap 8: Labonte spin T2; Lap 9: Yeley spin T4, Newman, Farmer contact T2; Lap 11: Blaney, Stalled T2: Lap 16: Almirola, Stalled Frontstretch; Lap 19: Evernham, Spin T2)
    Lead changes: No Lead Changes
    Lap leaders: Stewart 1-30
    Attendance: More than 23,000
    Broadcast: HBO Pay-Per-View
    Following victory lane, Tony Stewart presented Kyle Petty with a check for $1,000,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp! Much more on the way in the coming hours at eldoraspeedway.com.(6-5-2008)
    Prelude to the Dream Replays to air: For fans who missed Wednesday's live pay-per-view broadcast of the Old Spice Prelude to the Dream, and for those who must see again, by popular demand the event is now available to consumers for replay via Cable and Satellite. The pay-per-view replays are available now! The race, which drew more than 23,000 fans, was broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View with proceeds from the telecast going to support the soon-to-be constructed Victory Junction Gang Camp - Kansas City and the Tony Stewart Foundation.
    Cable: Replays of the race will be widely available via on cable systems nationally. The Replay schedule varies by system, check your electronic guide for dates, times and specific channels.
    Satellite: DirecTV & Dish Network customers should check their channel guides for replay information
    The commercial-free broadcast will have replays throughout the week and the following weekend. HBO Pay-Per-View's racing telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95.

  • Stewart/Logano/Gibbs...the latest: As Joey Logano's first sponsor for his first Nationwide Series race next weekend at Dover was being announced on Saturday one question begged to be asked. Is the 18-year-old sensation being groomed to replace Tony Stewart in the Sprint Cup series? As much as Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs loves Logano his preference is to groom him to be the driver of a fourth Cup team instead of having him replace one of Gibbs' current drivers. Gibbs said negotiations to extend Stewart's contract beyond 2009 are ongoing. "We're still just trying to feel out exactly where he is and exactly how he feels," Gibbs said. "We want him to be here. I want him to be here for a long period of time. At the end of the day all we can control is through next year." Gibbs has said he will hold Stewart to the last season of his contract. Stewart has said he has not asked out of next season despite reports he has. The only thing Stewart has confirmed is many teams are pursuing him and ownership has been part of the enticement for one team, Haas CNC Racing. Sponsorship also will be part of the equation. Home Depot, Stewart's sponsor since he came into NASCAR's premiere series, reported a 66% decline in first-quarter earnings. There have been rumblings about the company's long-term future in the sport. "They really are in a lot of ways the decision maker," Gibbs said. "We want to make sure whatever we do is something that encourages them. We wouldn't do anything unless they were on board and excited about it." As for Logano, Gibbs said he will compete in 18 to 19 Nationwide events and possibly a few ARCA races the remainder of this year. "The Cup thing, we're in no hurry," he said. "We're just going to watch and wait. When the time is right, we'll all be ready to go."(ESPN.com)(5-25-2008)

  • Logano turn 18: Joey Logano is legal. Now let the hype begin for NASCAR's most talked-about young driver. Joe Gibbs Racing unveiled a giant birthday cake and owner Joe Gibbs sang to Logano, who turned 18 on Saturday. That makes him eligible to compete in the Nationwide Series, and Logano will make his debut next weekend at Dover in a car sponsored by video game retailer GameStop. "It's a very big day for us," Gibbs said. "I kept telling Joey, 'Cheat. Pay something, move it up, find another birthday.' We couldn't wait to get him on the race track." Logano started racing in quarter-midgets at age 6 and later became the youngest champion in Legends Car history. A month after Gibbs signed the then-15-year-old to the team's development program, Logano won a Hooters Pro Cup race. He continued his success through lower forms of racing, and won an ARCA race earlier this month. "I feel like I'm ready to go out there and win races," Logano said. "I've been waiting on this birthday forever."(AP/ESPN.com)(5-25-2008)

  • Stewarts monkey, Mojo, finds new home: Mojo, a 3-year-old patas monkey previously owned by #20-Tony Stewart and Krista Dwyer, recently made the Louisville Zoo his home. When Stewart and Dwyer noticed Mojo maturing and becoming aggressive, they sought help. They contacted the head of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) patas monkey Species Survival Plan who recommended the Louisville Zoo as a great fit for Mojo. The transfer of Mojo from an environment where hes been a pet to Louisville Zoos Gorilla Forest is a win-win situation, Louisville Zoo Gorilla Forest supervisor Roby Elsner said. Mojo gets to experience a social life typical for his species, and AZAs North American captive population of patas monkeys, which needs to grow, is increased by one. Mojo and Dwyer arrived in Louisville via a private jet Aug. 24, 2007. Since that time Mojo has gotten acquainted with his new home and has also been introduced to the Zoos three female patas monkeys. He will be on exhibit for the first time tomorrow, Friday, May 23. Tony and I know bringing Mojo to the Louisville Zoo was the best thing for him, Dwyer said. We want Mojo to be happy and live a good life. Stewart agrees. The Louisville Zoo and staff are first-rate, Stewart said. They are very passionate about the animals they care for and truly believe in their mission. I know Mojo is in terrific hands. Dwyer said saying goodbye to Mojo was the hardest thing she has ever had to do. We will miss him, but we know this is the best thing for him. We have to let Mojo grow up and be the best patas monkey he can be, she said, and that means being with other patas monkeys. I love Mojo but want people to know that primates and wild animals dont make good pets. Dwyer and Stewart plan to visit Mojo often. For more, see the louisvillezoo.org site.(5-24-2008)

  • Latest on Stewarts 'plans': From a Toyota Motorsports Post-Qualifying PR, #20-Tony Stewart talked about his future plans:
    Do you have any updates on your talks?
    Not yet. Im getting close, thats the good thing. I feel like Im on the back side of the hill of getting everything done. Were a lot closer than we were.
    Have you gotten your release from Joe Gibbs Racing and have you asked for it? No, I have not asked for it.(Toyota PR)(5-23-2008)

  • Gibbs tested own engines in All-Star race: Joe Gibbs Racing used its engines in the all-star race as opposed to the engines it receives from Toyota Racing Development. The team plans to go back to TRD motors for the Coca-Cola 600. Since the all-star race is a non-points race, it provides teams a chance to test equipment without fear that a failure will hurt them in the points.(Roanoke Times), #20-Stewart had to change engines before the race, #11-Hamlin and #18-Busch both lost engines during the All-Star race, all three had rocker-arm problems.(5-19-2008)

  • Stewart praises Goodyear: Only two months ago, #20-Tony Stewart angrily blasted Goodyear after the Atlanta race, saying the company had given him "the most pathetic racing tire I've ever been on in my professional career." But it was a joyful, smiling Stewart who praised Goodyear for its research and hard work in delivering tires that helped the Joe Gibbs Racing star to his first win Friday night on NASCAR's oldest superspeedway, Darlington Raceway. "I really want to give Goodyear a pat on the back," he said. The company made two trips since March to test tires on Darlington's slick, new surface, repaved at a cost of $7 million for the first time since 1995. The results were absolutely perfect for Stewart. "I'm the first one to tell them when they screw up and I want to be the first one to tell them when they do a good job, too," Stewart said.(ESPN/AP)(5-10-2008)

  • Stewart gives few hints about future: #20-Tony Stewart returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday to help Chevrolet unveil its new midget-car engine, an appearance that prompted another round of questions about Stewart's plans and whether they might include IndyCars. "There's a part of me that thinks running at Indy and in IndyCar is a chapter of my life that is closed," he said. "Then there is the emotional part of me that says, 'Never say never.' I don't know if I'll ever get in an IndyCar again, but if that happens, it's going to be a long way down the road because I have a lot of commitments on the NASCAR side." Stewart has been running with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1998, and his current contract doesn't expire until the end of next season. Yet he's already fielding offers from other teams and said last month he had discussed terminating the deal early, depending on which offer he accepts. Some of those offers also include ownership of a team. Many believe Stewart, who turns 37 on May 20, is looking to move in part because he has long ties to Chevrolet, one of the Cup series' manufacturers. JGR is now using Toyotas, and Stewart remains winless this season after winning 32 times in his first nine years on the Cup circuit. While Stewart acknowledged he considered Chevy's deal with his own open-wheel teams a personal endorsement, he brushed off the suggestion that he was upset with driving a Toyota. "It wasn't weird when we started the program," he said. "It wasn't weird then, and it's not weird now. When we started our (open-wheel) program, Mopar provided us with engines and both sides understood." As so often happens when the Indiana native visits the speedway, however, the discussion quickly turned to one of his favorite subjects -- the Indy 500 -- and whether he would still like to race here. The answer: Only if it's a full-time gig in the IRL. "If I was going to come to Indianapolis again, I don't want to come and show up for the month of May," he said. "If I am going to do it, I need to start at Homestead. I need to run all of the races leading up to the month of May to really feel like I am being fair to the team and being fair to myself. ... As long as I'm driving a stock car, that basically takes that part of it out of the equation."(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-8-2008)

  • Latest Stewart Rumor...Bass Pro Shops? There has been no official word from either side, but it is becoming increasingly likely that #20-Tony Stewart will indeed leave car owners Joe and J.D. Gibbs at the end of this season, to start his own team, under the Rick Hendrick Chevrolet [with Haas CNC?] umbrella, possibly with Bass Pro Shops as his sponsor. If Stewart does depart, that would leave the Gibbses looking for a new driver. Joey Logano's chances of getting the nod? Sunday's Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway could offer clues. Logano is to start from the pole.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-8-2008)

  • Toyota staying out of Stewart negotiations: Toyota officials don't want to lose #20-Tony Stewart to another manufacturer, but they won't get involved in negotiations to keep the two-time Sprint Cup champion at Joe Gibbs Racing after his contract expires in 2009. "We're not a company that gets in the middle between owners and drivers," Lee White, the general manager of Toyota Racing Development, said before Saturday's race at Richmond International Raceway. "If there is a manufacturer out there that is spearheading or brokering or promoting an activity like this, I can promise you it will not be Toyota. We don't consider that to be our role in the garage." There has been speculation that Chevrolet is behind a move to lure Stewart, who uses the manufacturer for his Sprint car organization, to CNC Haas Racing. Part-ownership of the team also is on the table, which Stewart has acknowledged. "I'm going to go out on a limb and say Tony really likes to win," White said. "I think Tony's best opportunity to win races, multiple races, and continue to threaten for championships is right where he is."(ESPN.com)(5-4-2008)

  • Stewart/Yocum to help Shephard at Richmond: Morgan Shepherds Faith Motorsports Dodge will hopefully be making a lot more trips around the Richmond International Raceway this weekend, thanks to the generosity of two of the veteran driver's modern-day heroes. Two-time Sprint Cup Champion #20-Tony Stewart and broadcaster Matt Yocum will provide tire sponsorship to the #89 team this weekend in an effort to help Shepherd build on last week's 13th place run at Talladega. Shepherd was a surprise call-in guest to the Tony Stewart Live radio show on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio on Monday evening, and before the conversation between Shepherd and the two hosts was over the duo had come aboard as tire sponsors for Friday night's Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond. You say you need some tires for this weekend, Yocum said during the interview. How about if Smoke and I each buy you a set of tires. Stewart and Yocum said they would each set Shepherd up with a set of tires for this weekends 250-lap event at the .75-mile track at the Virginia State Fairgrounds. Stewart followed up by saying he would provide as many tires as Shepherd might need this weekend. Stewart went on to talk about how many modern-day fans of NASCAR dont appreciate the personal dedication that Shepherd and many other racers from his era put into the sport. I know how much you put into it personally and I can appreciate it, Stewart said. Well make sure you have plenty of tires for this weekend.(PR)(4-30-2008)

  • Ownership not an option at JGR for Stewart: If #20-Tony Stewart wants to become a NASCAR team owner, he'll have to do it somewhere other than Joe Gibbs Racing. J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, said Sunday that co-ownership at Gibbs is not an option for Tony Stewart, but other options are available. "Our [ownership] deal is set the way it is," Gibbs said. "But we could do some stuff to help him get started with his own team if that's what he really wanted." Stewart said earlier in the week that he is interest in becoming a Sprint Cup team owner. He also said Haas/CNC Racing has offered that option while allowing him to drive for them. But Stewart is under contact with JGR through the 2009 season. Gibbs said they have no intention of ending the relationship with Stewart before the contract expires. The deal with Home Depot, the primary sponsor of the #20 Toyota Stewart drives, also goes through 2009.(ESPN.com)(4-27-2008)

  • Stewart to leave JGR? UPDATE 3 statements Gibbs and Stewart: Sources tell Sports Illustrated that #20-Tony Stewart is working on the final stages of a deal to move from Joe Gibbs Racing to Haas CNC next season. Considering the ramifications of such a move, no one's admitting anything quite yet, as you'd expect. When reached for comment, Haas CNC Racing spokesman Ron Mench claims there's been no communication between Stewart and the organization. Stewart's PR spokesman Mike Arning was noncommittal ("I've heard what you've heard," when asked about Haas CNC) but he reminded SI [Sports Illustrated] that Stewart's contract with Gibbs runs through the 2009 season. "He's there this year and he's there next year," claimed Arning. "And I know for a fact that JGR is interested in retaining Tony for '10 and beyond. They'd like him to retire at Joe Gibbs Racing. As Tony's said many times, 'Nothing's broke. Why change it?' Tony's going to have a lot of options in front of him; why wouldn't he? But I don't see [an early out happening] ... everyone is going to live up to the terms of the contract that runs through '09." However, sources are adamant that not just the talking, but deal-making is already taking place for Stewart to go elsewhere. And, while sometimes a formidable opponent, contracts can be easily bought out, as Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch have shown us in recent years.(Sports Illustrated)(4-23-2008)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart has begun discussion with Joe Gibbs Racing officials about his future with the company, ESPN.com has learned. And that future, sources say, is questionable. Multiple sources close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity said Stewart told Gibbs officials that he'd like to be released from the final year of his current driving contract, which expires at the conclusion of the 2009 season. "He definitely has some options," JGR president J.D. Gibbs said. "To me it's no different than any of the the options he's had before. The reality is he's racing here through 2009. There's no ifs, ands or buts about that one. Our stance is he's racing for us through 2009." Stewart's publicist, Mike Arning, said "Tony's contract is through the 2009 season. When that is up he'll have a lot of options for 2010 and beyond. But in terms of what he's going to do, or might do, for now and in between, as far as JGR is concerned he's their driver for 2009." Sources said Stewart is intrigued by the thought of team ownership. One potential scenario mentioned was a partnership with Haas/CNC Racing, under which Stewart would own as much as a 50% stake in the race team that currently fields the #66 and #70 Chevys. Under that scenario he would drive one of those two machines. Haas GM Joe Custer said he has spoken with several people about the future status of his team, including Stewart's group. He was adamant that his team has reached no deal with Stewart, but would "by all means be interested in discussing a partnership with a driver of his caliber." Such a move would reunite Stewart with Chevrolet, which sources said was of the utmost importance to the driver, given that he's driven for General Motors for most of his career, and that GM sponsors Stewart's open wheel sprint car program. Gibbs switched to Toyotas from Chevrolets in 2008. Haas/CNC Racing currently fields cars built and powered by Hendrick Motorsports, the organization that has won four Cup championships in the past 10 years, including the past two.(ESPN.com)
    UPDATE 2: The following is a statement from J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, regarding the contract status of driver Tony Stewart: "There has been much speculation regarding the future of our driver, Tony Stewart. Tony is currently here through 2009, and from a Joe Gibbs Racing standpoint, we hope he drives for us longer than that and retires here. Tony is a great partner and a huge asset to Joe Gibbs Racing. Right now, we are focused on winning races and winning the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships under his current contract."(Joe Gibbs Racing/True Speed Communication)(4-24-2008)
    UPDATE Stewart speaks: Tony Stewart has several different offers to leave Joe Gibbs Racing, and he is considering every option - including ones that could make him the owner of his own NASCAR team. "We've got multiple offers on the table right now, and there's a couple in particular that really have caught our interest," Stewart told reporters Thursday after Nationwide Series practice at Talladega Superspeedway. "We haven't made a 100% decision yet on what we're going to do, but we're going to look at all the options. And the options are exciting, all the way around." Stewart's deal with JGR runs through 2009, and he said last summer he was interested in signing an extension with the team he's driven for since 1998. But contract talks moved slowly, with Stewart saying in January he was in no rush to get a deal done. Stewart said Thursday he has not ruled out staying with JGR, but when he began negotiating a new contract, other teams approached him with new opportunities. The same thing happened back in 2003, when Stewart was able to leverage several deals - including one from Chip Ganassi - to secure a more lucrative contract with Gibbs. "A wise person told me it never cost a dime to listen, so right now we're all ears," Stewart said of the latest offers. "Right now it's just a matter of figuring out what we want to do, and being smart. We've had a great run at Joe Gibbs Racing. It doesn't mean it's over. We're just going to look at everything that's out there." Stewart said Thursday he has informed Gibbs officials of his offers, and there were discussions of potentially leaving the team early depending on what deal he agreed to. But he said "a couple offers" included ownership, and the thought of running his own team excited him. Stewart said he has not discussed owning a portion of JGR with owner Joe Gibbs. "Right now we've not asked to be released out of our contract," he said. "They know there are other offers on the table and we've said, `What if this is the case? And what if this is presented to us? Is there a possibility we could be released from our contract early?' But we have not asked to be released from our contract." Cary Agajanian, who represents Stewart through the Motorsports Management Int. agency, cited the sensitivity of contract talks in declining to comment. "His contract is through 2009 with Joe Gibbs Racing," said Agajanian, "that's about all we know, and all we can say."(Associated Press)(4-25-2008)
    am sure this will be much discussed about over the weekend at Talladega, there are already many articles posted on the Article Links page about the subject.

  • Stewart going for 'a record': Tony Stewart, the driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota, has finished second six times but never won in 18 Cup races at Talladega. He's tied with Bobby Allison at Martinsville and Mark Martin at Pocono for NASCAR's record for single-track second-place finishes without a victory.(Alabama Live), Talladega is one of four Cup tracks that Stewart has never won a CUP race at: California, Las Vegas and Darlington.(4-24-2008)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Test at Rockingham: The Joe Gibbs Racing test team spent all day on Wednesday April 16th at the Rockingham Speedway gathering information for all of their Sprint Cup Series race teams. The Joe Gibbs Racing Test team used JGR developmental driver Joey Logano throughout the comprehensive test day.(Rockingham Speedway PR)(4-16-2008)

  • Yellow car for Stewart at Phoenix UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart will run a Subway sponsor #20 Toyota in the Subway Fit Fresh 500(k) at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend, the car will be yellow with green strips, Subway logo on hood and Home Depot on the 1/4 panels, see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(4-9-2008)
    UPDATE: UPDATE: Furthering its relationship with Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing, SUBWAY Restaurants will serve as primary sponsor of the #20 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series for three races in 2008. Longtime sponsor The Home Depot will adorn the quarterpanels of the #20 Toyota, while SUBWAY will have signage on the rest of the car. The #20 SUBWAY/Home Depot Toyota will make its debut April 10-12 during the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway, and will return to the track Aug. 29-31 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and again Oct. 3-5 at Talladega Superspeedway. SUBWAY Restaurants has a yearlong associate sponsorship of the #20 Home Depot Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series and a personal services agreement with Stewart.(True Speed Communication/Joe GibbsRacing)(4-11-2008)

  • Tony cuts his mane: Tony Stewart comes into Martinsville Speedway relaxed and refreshed after a rare off-weekend on the 38-race weekend Sprint Cup Series schedule. The driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing is also a bit more aerodynamic, for the long hair he had sported since the end of last season is gone. Stewarts mane looks more like it did when he was a rookie in 1999.
    Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing:
    What made you decide to finally cut your hair? To be honest, I just woke up one morning and told one of my roommates, Todays the day. Im going to get it cut. There was no rhyme or reason for it. I just woke up that morning and decided to get my hair cut, and that was that. I kind of laughed about it myself because there wasnt anything that happened that made me do it. I just went ahead and did it. People who know me say I look 10 years younger now.
    How is the aftermath of having your back waxed? Its already growing back. Its like a Chia Pet.
    Is it a testament to NASCARs popularity that the length of your hair and your hair follicles in general have become a topic of discussion?
    Yeah, its kind of unbelievable, and it does say that the sport is popular because I never thought the length of my hair would ever gain so much attention.(JGR PR)(3-28-2008)

  • Stewart and Zippy at the Rock: Tony Stewart will be climbing into the flagstand for the first time to wave the green flag to start a major stock car race when 50 cars come roaring by to start the Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway on May 4th. Stewart's Sprint Cup crew chief will also be in Rockingham for the Carolina 500 and he will trade his normal race day duties as crew chief in for a position as driver. Greg Zipadelli will drive the pace car for the parade laps to begin the 312-lap race before relinquishing the steering wheel back to Jack Wallace, the regular ARCA RE/MAX Series driver. "It is an honor to have Tony and Greg join us for our race," said track owner Andy Hillenburg. "Tony has the same passion for the sport that our fans have and there is not a nicer person in the garage area than Greg." Stewart and Zipadelli will be traveling to Rockingham after trying to win the Sprint Cup Series race the night before in Richmond, VA. If weather is a factor in Richmond then both men will not be present for the Carolina 500.(Rockingham Speedway)(3-28-2008)

  • Milestone coming up for Stewart...laps led: after Bristol, #20-Tony Stewart has led 9,892 laps in his Sprint Cup career, which is 13th all time and 108 laps short of 10,000. Bill Elliott is 12th at 11,416. #24-Jeff Gordon is the leading active driver with 19,557. Richard Petty is the all time leader with 52,194 [racing reference or 51.382 NASCAR Stats], followed by Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson. #8-Mark Martin is 11th at 11,437.(data from RacingReference.info and NASCAR Statistics)(3-24-2008)

  • Fuel Cell Problems at JGR? #11-Denny Hamlin says a potential flaw in the design of the fuel cells at Joe Gibbs Racing may have contributed to Sunday's loss at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hamlin was leading on the green-white-checkered restart, but his car stalled because not enough fuel reached the engine. That allowed #31-Jeff Burton to blow past Hamlin for his first win at the half-mile track and set up a 1-2-3 finish for Richard Childress Racing. Hamlin, who got his car going after gas swashed into the engine in the corners of the track, finished sixth. It wasn't the first time this has happened. "Anytime we get low on fuel, especially with a banked race track like Bristol, all of our fuel drains in the cell to where we don't get any in the engine," Hamlin said Tuesday. "Once we do take off all we're using is fuel in the lines. There's a bubble in there and the car stalls." Hamlin said team owner Joe Gibbs met with engineers all day Monday looking for answers. He said officials are also looking into why the gearbox in his car failed the previous week at Atlanta and the one in teammate Kyle Busch's car failed with him in the lead at Bristol. "He blew the top seal out of his," Hamlin said. "Mine blew the bottom seal. As far as knowing exactly what's causing it, I don't know yet. Between steering boxes and fuel, it's aging me pretty bad." Hamlin said there are several ways to design a fuel cell. One is so that it always works well with low fuel; another is where under green-flag conditions a car can "suck out the gas to where there's only one drop left."(ESPN.com)(3-19-2008)

  • Stewart gets waxed...see images: Last night [3/17] on "Tony Stewart Live" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, Stewart and Kevin Harvick discussed their run-in in the final laps of Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. While running second and third, Harvick's and Stewart's cars came together, spinning Stewart out and knocking him back to a 14th place finish. Immediately after the accident, words were exchanged between spotters for the #20 and #29 teams.
    Kevin Harvick: "I think for me the biggest thing is just Bristol brings out the best in everybody. I was mad when I got out [of the car]. The spotter was mad when I got into the side of Tony and the emotions run so high. And it's not the spotter's fault. It's not anybody's fault. It's just part of our sport. It won't be the last time we probably run into each other but we get better at handling it amongst each other as you learn more about the situations and things like that. The spotters didn't have anything to do with me running into the side of him."
    Tony Stewart: "That's the thing about our sport that you don't see in other sports. We don't get a cool-down period. You get that pure, raw emotion and a lot of times it doesn't give us all a chance to compare notes. Like we were talking about earlier, I had called Kevin and I didn't even know what had happened and this was 6 o'clock at night by the time I got home. It just shows how passionate I think everybody is. The crew guys are just as passionate about what is going on as we are. In our case my spotter is also head of our chassis department so when I crash something he's the guy that has to fix it."
    Stewart: "Obviously, I was disappointed that we were in a wreck but I know, of all people, I trust Kevin more than anybody else on that racetrack. I know that anything that happens with us, just like what happened yesterday, I knew it wasn't intentional."
    Later in the show, Stewart made good on a longtime bet with his buddy Harvick. After some teasing about his hirsute torso, Stewart said a year ago on SIRIUS that if Harvick was able to raise $100,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, he would agree to have his back waxed. Having reached the stated goal with fan donations and a matching contribution from Harvick himself, Stewart made good on his promise, undergoing the painful procedure last night live on SIRIUS as Stewart's co-host, Matt Yocum, and Harvick provided rip-by-rip commentary for SIRIUS listeners nationwide. Thanks to late donations by Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs, who pledged $15,000, and Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, who donated $10,000, the total raised for Victory Junction Gang Camp surpassed $125,000. Asked during the procedure if the pain was worse than hitting the wall at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Stewart laughed and said, "Yeah, it does actually. It does hurt worse than hitting the wall at Vegas. It just isn't lasting as long." To hear audio clips and see photos from last night's show, visit www.sirius.com/nascar. Last night's show re-airs tonight at 11pm/et, Thursday at 10pm/et, Saturday at 10pm/et and Monday at 8pm/et on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128.(Sirius PR))(3-18-2008)

  • Drivers celebrities join resort advisory board: Sheridan Ridge Private Reserve, a more than 1,400-acre upscale resort community located in Southwest Virginia, announced the joining of top NASCAR celebrities Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Hammond and Greg Zipadelli to the project¹s Advisory Board. The Advisory Board members¹ duties will include weighing in on the property¹s planned amenities, as well as introducing individuals to the unique lifestyle of Sheridan Ridge. Each Advisory Board member will have a vacation home on the property. Sheridan Ridge will also introduce interested individuals around the country to the beauty of Southwest Virginia. More info at sheridanridgeva.com.(3-15-2008)

  • Stewart getting waxed on Monday - Operation Wax Smoke: After almost a year, Tony Stewart will finally be getting his back waxed on Monday night [March 17th] at an undisclosed top secret location. Kevin Harvick will fill-in for Stewart through out much of the show [8:00pm/et Sirius Satelitte NASCAR Radio Channel 128]. At some point during the show Kyle Petty will receive a check for $100k for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Some of the folks scheduled to appear or call-in: Kevin and Delana Harvick, Ford Martin, Kyle Petty and Darrell Waltrip, plus you never know who may call in to check on Stewart's condition. Also Jimmie Johnson told Ford Martin, TSL's National Motorsports Correspondent, that if Ford pulled a piece of wax off Stewart's back, Jimmie would donate an extra 10k to Stewart's foundation.(3-14-2008)

  • More comments by Stewart about Goodyear; NASCAR's Helton responds: Monday night on "Tony Stewart Live" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, hosts Stewart and Matt Yocum discussed the race this past Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the controversy over the performance of Goodyear's racing tires. NASCAR President Mike Helton was a guest on the show and discussed the issue with Stewart.
    Stewart: "I'm not overreacting about Goodyear tires. This was my opinion about what we had. I'm the only driver that is in all this that has raced in Sprint car and Midget racing, Silver Crown racing, modifieds, super modifieds, the IRL with Indy cars and stock cars. I'm one of the few guys that has run enough of this stuff to actually know what it is like to have driven for Firestone, to have driven for Hoosier tires, you name it. We've even drove for Goodyear in some of these series but what we had yesterday at this level of competition was not acceptable. We've complained for years on numerous occasions behind closed doors to Goodyear and the problem doesn't get solved. So maybe this was one of these cases where maybe finally something good will come out of this. And if it sounds like we're whining about it it's because we're trying to get their attention. For Goodyear to say that they were satisfied with that, if they truly believe that they were satisfied with the way the race went yesterday I'm more disappointed than ever. And I can't believe that NASCAR, at the end of the day, is truly, honestly, happy with the results. We invited Goodyear to come on [the show] and state their side of it two different times in the last 24 hours and they graciously declined. I think that basically covers what we're dealing with here."
    NASCAR President Mike Helton was a guest on last night's show and discussed the tire issue with Stewart.
    NASCAR President Mike Helton: "Tony, we're all well aware of your opinion and you're right to express your opinion, albeit, I think maybe a little bit too strong in this case. What NASCAR asks for Goodyear to do this year as we completely run this new chassis from racetrack to racetrack is, first and foremost, bring a safe tire, a tire that is safe for the competitors to race on. And then bring one that is durable. And certainly bring one that is consistent so that everybody up and down pit road has the same tire as they compete in the events every weekend. I think what we did have in Atlanta was a tire that did not fail and we had a tire that was safe from that aspect and that it delivered in an environment that is a challenge right now because we're going back to a lot of places in '08 with a new chassis, new configurations underneath them by the crew chiefs and the engineers that are throwing challenges at Goodyear. And Goodyear all along the way has stepped up. They have been responsible. They have made a major commitment to put the right tires under NASCAR's national series and we're proud of our relationship with them. I think it is a little bit too much to blame whatever your opinion on Sunday was completely on Goodyear because we're all in this thing together, every crew member up and down pit road, every car owner, every driver, every supplier like Goodyear in the sport that wants it to do good, wants their product to be right. And I think Goodyear has made a commitment to that for NASCAR and for the competitors. Now that doesn't mean we're going to be exactly right every weekend. Sometimes NASCAR does things wrong. We make mistakes and we go back and we learn from them and we fix them.
    Stewart: "You can understand from [NASCAR's] standpoint, listening to Mike, what their objective is and what they feel like Goodyear's objective is but I think they would feel totally different about it if we made every one of the high-ranking NASCAR officials ride in the right seat this past Sunday and feel what we felt. I think they might have a little different opinion about it."
    "Tony Stewart Live" airs every Monday (8-10pm ET) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128. Monday's show re-airs tonight at 11pm/et and Thursday at 10pm/et.(SIRIUS PR), see the full transcript of the tire segment on my Tires Sponsor News page.(3-13-2008)

  • Home Depot Sells Off Sponsorship For Some Races; Subway?: the Long Island Press reports that Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs told the Press Wednesday that the [Home Depot, #20 Tony Stewart] home improvement warehouse has sold off the primary sponsorship for some races to another company. "At times we'll bring people to them and say, 'Hey, what do you think,' and usually in the past they say, 'Thanks but no thanks,'" Gibbs said. "I think they found a partner here that makes sense for them." Gibbs wouldn't divulge who the partner is, saying, "I'll let them go into all that detail when the time is right." He did add, though, that the agreement is more than a one-off deal. Home Depot has shared primary signage with assorted other sponsors, including animated movies Shrek 2 and Madagascar, for one-off races in the past. A Home Depot PR rep reached by the Press following the interview with Gibbs had no comment other than adding that such announcements would be made by JGR. But without prompting, the spokesperson asked if anything had been mentioned during the interview about restaurant chain Subway. Stewart regularly stars in commercials for the company, and his car has carried small signage of the company's logo. Selling off races obviously saves money in a sport that is getting increasingly pricey to sponsor. JGR's contracts with Stewart and Home Depot run through 2009.(Long Island Press)(3-7-2008)

  • 10th Anniversary Scheme for Stewart at Atlanta: Tony Stewart's #20 Home Depot Toyota will sport a slightly different look when it takes to the track for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The traditional orange and black colors of primary sponsor Home Depot will remain, but in celebration of the Atlanta-based company's 10-year anniversary as a proud NASCAR sponsor and staunch supporter of Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing, a special paint scheme designed by one of The Home Depot's 350,000 associates will adorn the #20 machine. In a company-wide contest that began on Dec. 17, 2007 and ended on Jan. 18, 2008, Home Depot associates were encouraged to design the car that Stewart would drive March 9 at Atlanta. From a total of 351 entries, the winning design came from the pen of Scott Foreman, a Pro Desk Sales Associate who works at The Home Depot in Brighton, Colo. A Pro Desk Sales Associate like Foreman bleeds orange, for they are on the front line of The Home Depot's core customer - general contractors and do-it-yourselfers who view no home improvement project as too large. The Home Depot entered NASCAR with a bang in 1999, as the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer became the Official Home Improvement Warehouse of NASCAR. Augmenting that platform, The Home Depot also signed to sponsor a newly formed second team of Joe Gibbs Racing with a rookie crew chief and a rookie driver who had made a name for himself in open-wheel race cars but was still a stock car neophyte.(True Speed Communication/Joe Gibbs Racing), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2008)

  • Stewart OK after hard wreck at Vegas: #20-Tony Stewart experienced a case of déjà vu in Sunday's UAW-Dodge 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) had led six laps and was running solidly in the top-10 until a blown right front tire on lap 107 sent Stewart hard into the SAFER Barrier that lines the outside retaining wall in turn four. "That's the hardest one I've taken in a long time," said Stewart after being evaluated and released from the infield care center. "It just blew a right front I guess and went straight in. It didn't try to turn or anything. It was a real tight part of the corner. It hit so hard it's got my lower back sore and made my legs feel about half numb. They just tingled until we got to the infield care center. I tried to knock the fence down yesterday in the Nationwide race and thought I'd made some ground on it and tried to finish it off, but it shows how good the soft walls are. They still don't go anywhere. Yesterday, I just hit my right foot on the pedals because I hit (the wall) with the left side (of the car). It just bruised it. It bounced off it and hit it again today," said Stewart, who wound up 27th in the Nationwide Series race and 43rd in the Sprint Cup race. "Today's hit was probably 10 times harder than yesterday's. My legs were tingling and my lower back is sore. That's probably from tensing up on the way to hitting the wall. When you see the wreck coming and you know you're not going to miss it, every muscle in your body tenses up and that makes it worse." Despite feeling sore and knowing some bruising would have to be dealt with in the days to come, Stewart declared himself healthy for the team's test Monday and Tuesday at Phoenix International Raceway and the upcoming Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I'll be all right for the test tomorrow in Phoenix," Stewart said. "It's going to be a miserable two days. I was already sore today and my foot was sore from the wreck yesterday. It didn't make it any better today. We'll do what we have to do the next two days and get ready for Atlanta."(True Speed Cummications/Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(3-3-2008)

  • ASA creates new short track national championship; JGR test part of prize: The American Speed Association (ASA) is breaking new ground once again, by unveiling plans for an innovative Short Track National Championship. The new plan allows competitors in any ASA Member Track's premier division to compete against each other, regardless of geographical location. ASA will create East and West divisions, with an ASA Short Track Divisional Champion crowned in each. The one driver who accumulates the most points will be named the ASA Short Track National Champion. With the title comes a cash reward, and the ultimate dream - a test session with Joe Gibbs Racing.(ASA-Racing.com)(2-29-2008)

  • Stewart getting waxed: During last nights SIRIUS radio show Tony Stewart Live with Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick mentioned Operation Wax Smoke, and the fact that the fans had met the goal [of $100,000]. In response, Tony said he would like to have Kevin host the show while he was getting the procedure. Now, we are just waiting on Tony to set the date! The fans raised a total of $39,611.00 and Harvick has pitched in the rest, which totaled $60,389.00 just to make the goal. Details as things become more final.(Kevin Harvick site)(2-13-2008)

  • Penalties for Busch, Stewart after practice incident? UPDATE Probation: NASCAR chairman Brian France kicked off the 2008 media tour in Charlotte, N.C., last month by saying Sprint Cup drivers needed to show more of their personalities. #2-Kurt Busch and #20-Tony Stewart obliged on Friday night when they got into a sheet metal exchange on pit road after an on-the-track incident that wrecked both of their cars in the final practice for Saturday's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Both drivers immediately were summoned to the NASCAR hauler to meet with Series director John Darby and competition director Robin Pemberton. They will meet again on Saturday before the governing body determines what fines, if any, will be issued. The only words spoken by either driver -- both left through a side door without commenting -- came from Busch before entering the hauler. "It's a great way to start off 2008," he said, clapping his hands together.(more at ESPN.com)(2-9-2008)
    UPDATE: On SPEED's NASCAR Live, Bob Dillner reported that he spoke with NASCAR's Jim Hunter that Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch met Saturday morning in the NASCAR Trailer and the meeting was cordial. It was also reported that Stewart may had thrown a punch in the NASCAR trailer Friday night after the incident, but NASCAR declined to comment on that and no more about possible penalties for either driver yet. Dr. Dick Berggren talked to Stewart during practice, who was very contrite and said it was part of racing and that what happened was over.(2-9-2008)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR has placed drivers Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch on probation for the first six races of the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season, a result of their on-track altercations this past Friday during practice for the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Stewart, driver of the #20 Toyota and Busch, driver of the #2 Dodge, violated Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing; altercation with another competitor) of the NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR PR)(2-12-2008) .

  • Stewart to be honored UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart will receive a ring for winning last year's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in a ceremony Monday at the Indiana Statehouse. Stewart, a native of nearby Columbus, will receive the champion's ring from Indianapolis Motor Speedway boss Tony George during a ceremony on the floor of the Indiana House. He won the NASCAR race last July in a late duel with Kevin Harvick. It was Stewart's second Brickyard victory in three years at the track he considers his home.(myfoxtoledo.com/AP)(2-2-2008)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart, one of Indianas most accomplished and popular sports figures in history, enjoyed the spotlight at the Indiana General Assembly and collected his second Allstate 400 at the Brickyard champions ring Feb. 4. Members of the Indiana House of Representatives and Indiana Senate honored Stewart in a joint resolution for his many accomplishments on track  including Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in 2005 and 2007, and two Sprint Cup Series championships, in 2002 and 2005  and his numerous charitable acts off track. IMS Chief Executive Officer Tony George presented Stewart with his champions ring for his 2007 victory on the floor of the Indiana House of Representatives in Indianapolis. Getting the ring from the Brickyard, it was the highlight of the day, for sure, Stewart said. Members of the Indiana House of Representatives gave Stewart a rousing ovation upon his introduction by State Representative Milo Smith of Columbus. That was pretty cool, Stewart said. Politics is definitely not my angle normally, but to see everybody so excited to see us here today & Theres always something special when you come home and when youre around people in a state you grew up in, and when the people in that community are excited to have you back, its something that makes you proud. Stewart said he was more nervous about being at the podium in front of the House of Representatives than he will be before the start of the Daytona 500, the season-opening Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 17. He will attempt to become the first driver to win consecutive Allstate 400 at the Brickyard events, on Sunday, July 27 at the legendary 2.5-mile IMS oval.(IMS PR, see photos and audio at indianapolismotorspeedway.com.(2-5-2008)

  • Stewart in no rush to sign contract extension: #20-Tony Stewart, who has spent his entire NASCAR Cup Series career at Joe Gibbs Racing, says he is in no rush to begin talks regarding a contract extension with the successful racing operation. "Right now I just want to get started with this year," Stewart said Tuesday. "I'm really not concerned about the end of '09 right now because we've still got to get through '08. Obviously, it's a topic with the team here, and they want to get it taken care of, but right now I want to see how the beginning of this year goes. Get halfway through the season before we even worry about talking about it again." Stewart's contract ends after the 2009 season. A change in manufacturer - the team will field Toyotas in 2008 after a long, successful stint with General Motors products - is of a more pressing concern to the 36-year-old Stewart. "There's nothing that has to be done right now anyway," he said of contract talks. "I'm here. It's about now to me; it's not about what's going to happen. Right now ... we've got a big change with a new manufacturer coming in, let's worry about running good and winning races and worry about the rest of it [later]." Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli have been paired together since Stewart departed the open-wheel ranks to make the move to NASCAR.(in part from SceneDaily.com)(1-24-2008)

  • Gibbs retires as coach of the Redskins: Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing [#11,#18, #20] resigned as coach and team president of the Washington Redskins on Tuesday. The Redskins said in a statement that Gibbs will remain part of the Redskins family and serve as a special adviser to owner Dan Snyder.(ESPN.com)(1-8-2008)

  • Stewart to test at Daytona: Tony Stewart will test the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota during the Jan. 14-16 session [2nd session] at Daytona International Speedway after skipping the session for the last three years. Sprint Cup teams will begin testing Monday [Jan 7th] and are split into two three-day sessions. Stewart will test in the second session, according to a team spokesman. The test will be the first full NASCAR test of the car of tomorrow at Daytona and will be the first NASCAR test for JGR in a Toyota after the team left Chevrolet following the 2007 Cup season.(SceneDaily.com)(1-3-2008)

2007 News

  • Stewart wins the Rumble: Tony Stewart held off teammate Mike Fedorcak over the final 25 laps to capture Saturday's USAC midget feature, capping the Rumble in Fort Wayne at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. The two-time NASCAR champion won on the one-sixteenth-mile indoor track for the fifth time in eight races over the past four seasons. After posting the fastest qualifying time and winning his heat race, Stewart sliced through the feature field, moving from his eighth starting position to fifth by lap four and into second place on lap nine. Stewart took the lead with an inside move on Geoff Kaiser in the first turn on lap 17 and beat Fedorcak by nearly a straightaway in the 60-lap race. Dave Darland was third, followed by Derek Bischak.(Indianapolis Star and more at the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)(12-30-2007)

  • Latest on Stewart contract: Joe Gibbs Racing wants to sign #20-Tony Stewart to a new contract, even though his current contract runs through 2009. But Stewart said Thursday he doesn't plan to negotiate during the offseason. "It's flattering they already want to do this and get it done and out of the way, but I'm taking this offseason off. I need it desperately."(Tampa Tribune)(11-30-2007)

  • Stewart and Sirius announce winners of "The Stewies": Winners of the inaugural 'Stewie Awards' were announced tonight by two-time Nextel Cup Series Champion and SIRIUS Radio host Tony Stewart at the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Studios in New York City. The 2007 'Stewie Award' winners were decided by fans around the country who logged on to www.SIRIUS.com to vote for the best, boldest and funniest moments of the 2007 NASCAR season. The 'Stewies' were awarded during a special broadcast of Tony Stewart Live, the weekly talk show hosted by Stewart and Matt Yocum on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio channel 128, in the midst of the 2007 Nextel Cup Series Champions Week. Winners in 12 categories including "Best Duet," honoring outstanding teamwork by a driver and crew chief, "Best Original Drama," honoring the year's most exciting race moment, "Best Driver2Crew Chatter Exchange," "Best Stunt Sequence" and others were honored. Among the evening's highlights was the presentation of the "Stewie Lifetime Achievement Award" to two legends of NASCAR - former NASCAR Chairman and CEO Bill France, Jr. and Hall of Fame driver/broadcaster Benny Parsons, both of whom passed away in 2007. The winners of the 2007 'Stewie Awards' are:
    Stewie Lifetime Achievement Award
    * Bill France, Jr., former Chairman and CEO of NASCAR
    * Benny Parsons, Hall of Fame driver/broadcaster
    Golden Stewie Award - Honoring a legendary driver from the Golden Era of racing (1960-85)
    * A.J. Foyt
    Best Duet - For outstanding teamwork by a driver and crew chief
    * Clint Bowyer & Gil Martin: Martin keeps Bowyer calm and team performs only one adjustment all day to get Bowyer's first career Nextel Cup win in Sylvania 300 (Sept. 16)
    Best Original Drama - For year's most exciting race moment
    * Kevin Harvick edges Mark Martin to win his first Daytona 500 (Feb. 18) New Kid on the Track Award - For year's most outstanding performance by a rookie
    * Juan Pablo Montoya: Wins first Nextel Cup race in Toyota Save Mart 350 (June 24)
    Best Stunt Sequence (Hal Needham Award) - For year's most spectacular crash
    * Clint Bowyer: Crosses finish line at Daytona 500 on his roof (Feb. 18)
    Best Original Comedy - For year's most entertaining on track "incident" or occurrence
    * Robby Gordon performs "victory celebration" burnout despite losing Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villaneuve in Canada (Aug. 4)
    Best Vocal Performance - For year's most memorable quote or sound bite
    * Actor Kevin James: Provides memorable "Start Your Engines" command before Pepsi 400 (July 7)
    Best Engineering and Special Effects (Smokey Yunick Award) - For year's most creative - and ultimately illegal - modifications to a race car
    * Crew Chief David Hyder & MWR VP of Competition Bobby Kennedy: Illegal fuel in #55 car at Daytona 500 (Feb. 18)
    Dazed and Confused Award - For year's the most baffling move
    * Teresa Earnhardt and DEI allow Dale Earnhardt Jr. to leave for Hendrick Motorsports
    'I Got Dumped' Award - For year's most memorable on-track bumping
    * Kyle Busch: Wrecked by brother Kurt in Nextel All-Star Challenge (May 19)
    Best Driver2Crew Chatter Exchange - For year's most memorable driver-to-pit crew communication
    * Denny Hamlin/#11 team: Discuss "plan of attack" against Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #8 car during Subway 500 (Oct. 21)
    (see more at Sirius.com)(11-30-2007)

  • JGR 2007 Flag Football Champs: Joe Gibbs Racing successfully defended its 2006 championship in Bob Hubners Totally Racin Flag Football League presented by Race City Resumes & Marketing. It wasn't easy for JGR as the team had some tough competition to repeat what it did last season. This years format was a single elimination tournament, and JGR first had to get by last years main rival, the team fielded by Lowes Motor Speedway, to advance. And JGR beat LMS by only one point to reach round two. The Gibbs team then beat Team Red Bull to advance to the championship game against Roush-Fenway Racing. JGR and Roush-Fenway tied during their regular season game so the Gibbs players knew Roush would put up a good fight. The title game was in fact tied 13-13 at halftime. Then, with one minute left, Roush-Fenway scored a touchdown but missed the extra point to edge ahead 25-19. Gibbs Racing then got the ball with 53 seconds left, needing to get down the field and score a touchdown and extra point for the win. JGR got the touchdown as quarterback JD Gibbs passed to his center, Ross Port, in a surprise play with only 3 seconds left, bringing a 25-25 tie. For the extra point, JD Gibbs tossed the ball to Dave Alpern at the goal line, and Alpern caught the pass and reached over the goal line to give Joe Gibbs Racing another championship, 26-25. For League info visit racecityresumes.com/football.(11-15-2007)

  • Stewart to hold "Stewie Awards": #20-Tony Stewart will award the first ever "Stewie Awards" during a live broadcast of his Sirius Satellite Radio show from New York Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. The completely made-up awards will honor drivers in such categories as "Best Duet," for the best teamwork between a driver and crew chief and the "Best Vocal Performance" for the driver who had the best memorable quote or sound bite. Nominees will be revealed in an upcoming "Tony Stewart Live" show, and fans will be able to vote at www.sirius.com/nascar.(10-18-2007)

  • Stewart on the tube tonight: Tony Stewart, in partnership with Goody's Cool Orange and Orange County Chopper, will be featured on this week's episode of American Chopper on The Learning Channel (TLC). The episode airs on Thursday, October 11 at 9:00pm and 11:00pm/et on TLC. The chopper, sponsored by Goody's Cool Orange, the orange flavored, fast-acting headache powder, was auctioned off earlier this year for $60,599.96 to benefit the Tony Stewart Foundation. Stewart and American Chopper's Paul Teutel Sr. gave race fans a sneak peek of the chopper during pre-race ceremonies in April's Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Consumers will have the opportunity to win a version of the Tony Stewart and Goody's Cool Orange Chopper through an in-store promotion this fall.(Goody's Racing PR)(10-11-2007)

  • JC Penney looking? UPDATE: hearing JC Penney, deptartment store chain, are considering sponsoring a Nextel Cup team in 2008 and some teams have even presented mockup cars, but no word which team may get that sponsorship or when anything would be announced.(9-29-2007)
    UPDATE: hearing it could with Joe Gibbs Racing in some form.(10-2-2007)

  • Stewart Could Face Penalty for Obscenity: UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart could face his second points deduction this season for using vulgar language after telling a cameraman to "get the f-- away from me" during an ESPN2 broadcast shortly after the first Nextel Cup practice ended Saturday morning at Kansas Speedway. NASCAR officials requested a videotape of the exchange and said they were investigating the matter. A penalty could damage a bid for a third championship by Stewart, who will enter Sunday's Lifelock 400 trailing Jeff Gordon by two points in the Chase for the Nextel Cup standings. Stewart was docked 25 points and fined $25,000 for saying "bull--" in an ESPN interview after winning the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. He was fined $10,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31 for skipping media obligations after finishing second at Phoenix International Raceway on April 21. ESPN broadcaster Dr. Jerry Punch apologized to viewers after Stewart's latest transgression. "It was an unfortunate incident," ESPN spokesman George McNeilly said. "The tape speaks for itself. In our view, the photographer was doing his job."(USA Today)(9-30-2007)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart will not be penalized for uttering an obscenity Saturday morning during the ESPN2 telecast of the Nextel Cup practice session, NASCAR officials confirmed Sunday at Kansas Speedway. "It's unfortunate, but there's a lot of other noise when you see the tape," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of corporate communications. "If you run it over and over, you get it. But if our viewers and ESPN's viewers are sitting at home watching it, there's a chance they might not have heard that." Hunter said the decision not to penalize Stewart is in line with similar decisions when drivers said an obscenity outside a formal interview session.(ESPN.com)(9-30-2007)

  • Stewart to promote Ryobi tools at Kansas: When Tony Stewart goes for a repeat win in Sunday's LifeLock 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, he'll do so with lithium power augmenting the 850-horsepower beneath the hood of his #20 Home Depot Chevy. Ryobi (pronounced Ree-Oh-Bee) is introducing a new line of lithium-powered tools this week exclusively at The Home Depot. Commemorating this line of green and black tools will be a touch of green and black to Stewart's traditionally orange Home Depot Chevrolet at Kansas. The special, one-race paint scheme showcases the first line of affordable lithium tools, which are compatible with all current blue Ryobi 18-volt tools, including the range of Ryobi One+ Tools. Like Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing-prepared Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the powerful new Ryobi lithium battery has a fuel gauge to indicate current charge levels. It's also 20% lighter than conventional NiCd batteries, and offers better performance in cold temperatures and holds a charge four times longer than comparable NiCd batteries when idle.(True Speed Communication/JGR PR), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(9-26-2007)

  • Chevy hopes to get Stewart back in Cup: One of the top executives in the General Motors racing operation said the automaker will attempt to sign Tony Stewart to a contract with another Chevrolet team after his current deal with Joe Gibbs Racing expires. Wed be interested in Tony staying with Chevy, Brent Dewar, GM North America vice president of sales, service and parts, said Friday at Richmond International Raceway. Most fans dont realize that the drivers sign with the teams, and we all respect that. I understand hes through 2009 currently with Gibbs. Wed love for him to continue with Chevrolet down the road. & Weve had a great relationship with Tony. Dewar also said Chevrolet will continue to support Stewarts hobbysprint-car racingdespite his defection to Toyota next year along with the rest of the Gibbs drivers. Weve just got to sit down and see if it makes sense for all parties, Dewar said. We are starting to work with him and develop & hes passionate about sprint cars, so we can see some avenues. Stewart said during last weeks Toyota press conference that he is planning an aggressive round of contract negotiations with his team.(Ford Racing)(9-8-2007)

  • Gibbs to Toyota - Official UPDATE 4: been told that the Joe Gibbs Racing / Toyota announcement will be made at the JGR Headquarters the week before the Richmond race.(8-30-2007)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing is expected to announce next week it will join Toyota Motorsports beginning next season, sources told ESPN.com. A news conference has been scheduled for Wednesday morning at JGR headquarters. Expected to be in attendance are team drivers Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin. A GM official reached Thursday in Detroit said the manufacturer would not comment. Toyota Motorsports officials were equally mum.(ESPN.com)(8-31-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch confirmed that he has been told that Joe Gibbs Racing will race Toyotas next season. Busch said he is comfortable with the switch, which is expected to be announced next week by the team. Mark Cronquist, the team's head engine builder, is expected to spearhead the work on the engine. (SceneDaily.com)(8-31-2007)
    UPDATE 3: SPEED will interrupt regular programming on Sept. 5 at 11am/et to present a live NASCAR press conference. It is expected to be an announcement from Joe Gibbs Racing regarding the 2008 season.(9-5-2007)
    UPDATE 4: the press conference started just after 11:00am/et with JGR's J.D. Gibbs and Jimmy Makar; drivers Tont Stewart and Denny Hamlin; crew chiefs Steve Addington, Mike Ford and Greg Zipadelli; JGR's engine builder Mark Conquist; and Toyota officials Jim Aust and Lee White. Gibbs announced the team is switching from Chevy/GM to Toyota in 2008. Stewart says he is excited about the move and working on extending his contract. His USAC and WoO teams will stay Chevy and nothing will change there. Hamlin says he is working on his contract and is excited about the move.(9-5-2007)
    PR: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will campaign Toyota Camrys in the Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Grand National Series [and also will switch to Toyota in the Busch Series] beginning in 2008. "We look forward to partnering with Toyota in NASCAR in 2008. Toyota will be hands-on with us as we become an integral part of their long-term development in NASCAR," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. We have 420-plus families that are our number one priority, and taking care of them for the future is very important to us. Our people have made us as successful as we are today, and it's those same people who will ensure our success in the future. When our teams win, those families win. We're thrilled for everyone at JGR who will benefit from this."
    "This decision was made by all of the key leadership at JGR," said Jimmy Makar, senior vice president of racing operations for JGR. "It was a decision made by the people in our competition department, who live by the one question whenever a decision is made regarding Joe Gibbs Racing: 'Will this make us more competitive on the race track?' The consensus answer was yes."(see full PR at the Joe Gibbs Racing site)(9-5-2007)

  • Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., and Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that the three-time championship-winning race team will campaign Toyota Camrys for drivers Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series. Joe Gibbs Racings NASCAR Grand National Series program will also utilize Toyota Camrys next season. Joe Gibbs Racing will be joining Bill Davis Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Team Red Bull as the teams that will be racing the Most Popular Car in America when the 2008 season kicks- off next February at Daytona International Speedway. Assembled at Toyotas Georgetown, Kentucky plant, more than six million Camry models have been sold in the United States since its debut 23 years ago.(see full PR at the Toyota Motorsports site)(9-5-2007)

  • GM Statement of JGR moving to Toyota: Statement from Brent Dewar; General Motors North America Vice President of Vehicle Sales, Service and Parts Regarding Joe Gibbs Racing's decision to sign with another manufacturer: "General Motors has been associated with Joe Gibbs Racing for 16 years working together winning races and championships. While we understand the business nature of racing, we are disappointed in J.D.'s decision and announcement today. With our long-standing relationship and record of winning with them, we hoped they would remain with Chevrolet. We will continue to support our JGR drivers in this year's Chase for the Championship. We wish JGR well as they go forward, and Chevrolet will compete against them on the track next year to defend its title as the winningest name in racing."(GM Racing PR)(9-5-2007)

  • Extensions for Stewart & Hamlin close: [Joe Gibbs Racing's] Car owner J.D. Gibbs says that contract extensions are nearly set with #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Tony Stewart. Both have contracts through 2009. Both are set to attend the team's press conference later this week announcing the [supposed] move to Toyota and their contact extensions could be announced there.(Roanoke Times)(9-4-2007)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Forms Motocross and Supercross Team: Since debuting in the 1992 Daytona 500, Joe Gibbs Racing has won over 100 races in NASCAR and the NHRA. In 2008, the veteran racing organization will continue to add to its rich history, but in addition to winning races on four wheels, they'll also attempt to do it using only two. Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross (JGRMX) is the latest venture of the 16-year-old race team founded by Joe Gibbs. Gibbs' youngest son, Coy, will head up the operation, along with motocross industry veteran David Evans. The two have already secured the services of riders Josh Hansen and Josh Summey, as JGRMX will campaign both riders in the World Supercross GP and American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Supercross Series, and also the AMA National Motocross Championship. (Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(9-2-2007)

  • Zippy to help build playground: Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the #20 Home Depot Racing Team, along with volunteers from The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, KaBOOM!, Inland Empire United Way's (IEUW) Hands On Inland Empire initiative, and members of the Fontana, Calif., community are teaming up to build a racing-themed playground on Thursday, Aug. 30 at North Tamarind Park. The one-day playground build is part of The Home Depot's Racing to Play program that is aimed at making a lasting, positive impression in the lives of children who live in NASCAR race communities. The playground's design is based on drawings by children who live in the community. North Tamarind Park is centrally located in the community, and its current playground equipment is more than 25 years old and does not meet safety standards for daily use. IEUW's Hands On Inland Empire initiative strengthens volunteer impact in the community through programs, partnerships and services. IEUW helps disadvantaged kids succeed in school, provides easy access to social services, and develops volunteer opportunities to create positive change. IEUW serves more than 7,300 children each year. The Home Depot's Racing to Play program will build 10 racing-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in 2007 and is a partnership between The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization whose vision is to create a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.(True Speed Communication PR)(8-30-2007)

  • No Gibbs to Toyota announcement planned at Calif: Don't expect a Toyota announcement that Joe Gibbs Racing has joined the manufacturer's stable next week when the Nextel Cup Series heads to the backyard of Toyota's base in California. Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said no announcement is planned for the Aug. 31-Sept. 2 race weekend at California Speedway and his team is still mulling whether to extend its contract with Chevrolet. "Nope - nothing there," Gibbs said Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway when asked if an announcement could come next week. "Nothing new ... We're not under huge pressure [to decide]." Gibbs wouldn't comment more on the situation, which has been the biggest question surrounding his organization now that Kyle Busch has opted to join the team next season.(SceneDaily.com)(8-26-2007)

  • Stewart wins at Watkins Glen: #20-Tony Stewart won the Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International for his 3rd win in 2007 and 32nd of his career [ties him for 19th on the all-time list with Dale Jarrett]. Stewart beat #11-Hamlin by 0.464 seconds, the rest of the top-10 were #48-Johnson, #96-Fellows, #7-Gordon, #1-Truex Jr., #5-Busch, #99-Edwards, #24-Gordon and #16-Biffle. #24-Gordon was leading with two laps to go when he wheel hopped in the 1st turn and spun, falling to 9th and handing the lead over to a charging #20-Stewart. #8-Earnhardt Jr. finished 42nd losing an engine after running in the top ten most of the day, he drops to 14th in drivers points, 2 spots outside the Chase, but falls to 100 pts behind #2-Busch who is 12th, #12-Newman is now 13th, 96pts out of the Chase. There were 8 cautions for 20 laps [and a 25 minute red flag] and only 6 drivers led the race with 9 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Watkins Glen Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Watkins Glen page
    Race Rundown: see my Watkins Glen Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(8-12-2007)

  • Prelude to the Dream Raises $800,000 after Ground-Breaking Telecast on HBO Pay-Per-View: The third annual Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice, held June 6 and broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View, raised $800,000 for charity. The 30-lap dirt late model event at the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, featured some of racings biggest stars, and in a thrilling race won by NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Carl Edwards, it allowed the Tony Stewart Foundation to make significant contributions to charity. The chief benefactor of the Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice was the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The Randleman, N.C.-based organization that serves as a year-round camp for children ages seven to 15 with an assortment of life-threatening illnesses will receive $600,000 from the Tony Stewart Foundation. Also receiving support from the proceeds generated by the Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice was the Autism Society of Delaware and Motor Racing Outreach, with each entity receiving $25,000. The remaining $150,000 stayed with the Tony Stewart Foundation, allowing the Foundation to continue its support of groups caring for chronically ill children, drivers injured in motorsports activities and charitable outfits specializing in the protection of various animal species. Charities actively supported by the Foundation include, but are not limited to, the Ronald McDonald House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Indiana Special Olympics, Greyrescue (Greyhound Rescue Organization) and the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(True Speed Communication PR)(8-9-2007)

  • More on Gibbs to Toyota..done deal? HOF to RCR engines? UPDATE 3 denied: hearing the decision has been made and that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will switch from Chevrolet to Toyota in 2008 and the announcement should come in early September.(8-6-2007)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing still hasnt announced whether it will switch to Toyotas next year, but the buzz is that it will. Some clues? Tony Stewarts souvenir trailers were selling merchandise at 50% off regular price last week at the Brickyard, Stewarts home track and a place where the Hoosier native is wildly popular. Also, a source at Richard Childress Racing said it has been approached by Hall of Fame Racing, a satellite Gibbs team, about buying engines from the newly merged RCR-Dale Earnhardt Inc., engine operation in 2008. Presumably, HOF is hedging its bets, if it ends up not being part of a Gibbs move to Toyota.(Ford Racing)(8-6-2007)
    UPDATE 2: JGR will jump from Chevrolet to the Toyota camp beginning in 2008, joining Michael Waltrip Racing, Bill Davis Racing and Team Red Bull on the list of teams running Toyota Camrys. Neither Busch nor JGR have made any official comment on the move, but Gibbs officials have already informed Hall of Fame Racing that they will not continue to provide the team with engines next season, prompting Hall Of Fame to contact Richard Childress Racing about a similar engine-supply deal for 2008.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-6-2007)
    UPDATE 3: Hall of Fame Racing officials have not been told by Joe Gibbs Racing that JGR will not provide the HOF with engines next season, nor have HOF officials contacted RCR.(8-6-2007)

  • Harvick still ticked at Stewart: #29-Kevin Harvick is still upset with good friend #20-Tony Stewart, who ran into him in the closing laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ruined what should have been a second-place finish. "He's called. I just haven't answered," Harvick said Thursday between practice sessions for the inaugural Busch Series race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The contact between the two cars with 10 laps to go in Sunday's race damaged Harvick's front fender and ruined his Chevrolet's handling. Stewart drove off to victory, Harvick faded to seventh, and the difference cost him 24 points in the standings and $116,439 in prize money. As they head to Pocono Raceway for this weekend's Nextel Cup race, the duo will have to work through Harvick's hard feelings. Stewart admitted right after Sunday's race that he'd made a mistake by running into Harvick while attempting to retake the lead. "If I'm going to preach about give and take, it's stupid for me to not do the same thing," Stewart said. "If I want people to race me with respect, I'm going to race people with respect. I didn't mean to get into Kevin. That wasn't my intention. There was no logical reason to get into him. That was a mistake on my part." It's particularly awkward because Harvick and Stewart are good friends, and Stewart regularly drives Harvick-owned cars in the Busch Series. Stewart even drove Kevin Harvick Inc. cars to a pair of victories at Daytona. Harvick said he just needs some time. "I don't think you let anything on the track affect your relationship off the race track," he said. "For me, it's better to just take some time and think about things and just realize where we are and go from there. I'll get over it. At some point. And we'll still be friends."(Associated Press)(8-3-2007)
    UPDATE: from a GM Racing PR, #20-Tony Stewart was asked if had spoken to #29-Kevin Harvick:
    Q) Have You and Kevin Harvick Talked Since Indy? "Yeah, we talked last night. And I know what he was disappointed about. He should have run second. He had the second best car for sure. Kevin and I are good friends and we talked about it last night. I would have been upset if the roles were reversed too. I can't blame him for that. I made a mistake. I let the car get too high. I've heard differences of opinions from people watching the tape but I still take responsibility for it. I would never race Kevin like that on purpose. I don't race anybody like that on purpose because I'm big about racing guys clean and having them race me clean. But the thing is, when I make a mistake I fess up to it right away and I did it right in victory lane when we won the race. We had more to lose there then to gain in that situation. So it shows how big a race it is to everybody. Finishing second there would have been a heck of a lot better for him than seventh, for sure."(GM Racing PR)(8-4-2007)

  • Stewart's 'BS' slip UPDATE 2 fined: yes #20-Tony Stewart said 'BS' in his post race interview on ESPN [Cable..not network], NO word when/if Stewart will be fined and/or penalized by NASCAR, in 2004, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was penalized for dropping the 'S' bomb on network [NBC] TV after winning and was fined $10k and 25 drivers/owners points. If penalized, it would be announced on Tuesday.(7-29-2007)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart, excited over winning at the track he cherishes more than any other, got a little carried away in his postrace interview. The expletive he uttered could cost him a penalty later this week. Stewart was celebrating his second win the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday when he uttered the obscenity on ESPN. While NASCAR officials would later say they thought there was a network delay protecting the driver, ESPN officials said delays are only used on replays of radio conversations, not live victory lane interviews. "It was an unfortunate incident that we did not anticipate," said ESPN officials in a statement. NASCAR officials said they will address the issue at the beginning of the week. Vice President Jim Hunter said there could be a penalty or a loss of points. He also said that NASCAR would talk to ESPN officials.(SceneDaily.com)(7-30-2007)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced that Tony Stewart has been fined $25,000 and penalized 25 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver championship points, as a result of using inappropriate language during a post-race televised interview following his victory Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Dept Chevrolet, retains his fifth-place standing in the series points, with his total points reduced to 2,599. Stewart violated Section 12-4-A of the series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) by using the inappropriate language. In addition, Stewarts car owner, Joe Gibbs, has been penalized 25 car owner championship points because of the infraction.(NASCAR PR)(7-31-2007)

  • Stewart wins at Indianapolis: #20-Tony Stewart won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 2nd Brickyard 400 win, 2nd win of 2007 and in a row and 31st of his career. Stewart beat #42-Montoya by 3.535 seconds, the rest of the top-10 were #24-Gordon, #5-Busch, #41-Sorenson [the pole sitter], #01-Martin, #29-Harvick, #01-Martin, #22-Blaney and #17-Kenseth. 2nd in pts #11-Hamlin had a late race pitstop miscue and finished 22nd, a lap down and is now 371 pts behind pts leader #24-Gordon. #8-Earnhardt Jr. finished 34th losing an engine after running in the top ten most of the day. #48-Johnson wrecked when he lost a tire and finished 39th, falling to 9th in drivers pts. #29-Harvick was called to the NASCAR hauler after banging into Stewart after the race. Stewart passed Harvick with a few laps to go and banging his way past Harvick. There were 9 cautions for 43 laps and only 6 drivers lead the race with 14 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Indianapolis Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Indianapolis page
    Race Rundown: see my Indianapolis Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(7-29-2007)

  • Chevy hopes to keep teams: Chevrolet officials remain hopeful that Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports will remain a part of the General Motors program in 2008. GM is in the process of renewing all of its deals, with JGR and HMS being the crown jewels of their program. Toyota has been linked with JGR in several news reports despite comments from team president J.D. Gibbs that re-signing with GM is his top priority. Rick Hendrick, the owner of HMS, also has ties to Toyota through his dealership business. Ed Peper, the general manager of Chevrolet Racing, said during a Thursday press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that he is very confident in negotiations to re-sign all teams currently under the Chevrolet banner. Terry Dolan, the marketing director for Chevrolet Racing, would not comment on specific organizations. "I am confident we will have strong teams continuing to represent Chevrolet, not only because we've got a pretty good track record of performance but because we've been dedicated to this sport for a long time," he said of the company that has won 15 of 19 Nextel Cup races this season with 12 of the wins coming from JGR and HMS. "We have some of the tools and assets they need to succeed in their business."(ESPN.com)(7-28-2007)

  • Drivers Have Different Plans for Off Week: The last open weekend on the Nextel Cup schedule until Thanksgiving means different things to different drivers as they gear up for a stretch of 17 races without a break starting July 29 in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Jeff Gordon is going to pack up his family car for a short road trip with wife Ingrid and month-old daughter Ella Sofia. Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra are flying to Europe. Kyle Petty is getting on a motorcycle to join his annual charity ride. Elliott Sadler is heading to the golf course. And several drivers will be driving, either in a Busch Series race in suburban St. Louis or, in Tony Stewart's case, at a time and place still to be determined.(Indianapolis Star)(7-17-2007)

  • Stewart looking to tie Pearson: #20-Tony Stewart will be hunting for a record third consecutive Pepsi 400 victory in this year's 160-lap, 400-mile event at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart will attempt to tie David Pearson's record of three straight Pepsi 400 wins (1972-74).(DIS PR)(7-4-2007)

  • Gibbs Would like to stay with Chevy: Joe Gibbs Racing's first choice is to re-sign with General Motors, not jump ship for Toyota. "We want to work this out [with GM]," team president J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's race at New Hampshire. "I can't say a whole lot more than that. We've got a great relationship with GM. We've been partners with them for 16 years, ever since we became an organization." Gibbs said he's had several meetings with GM officials, the most recent last week. He brushed off a report that the organization had a "done deal" with Toyota. Gibbs reminded that none of the Chevy teams have re-upped with GM, but that he hopes the situation will become clearer soon so the organization can start preparing for 2008.(ESPN.com)(7-2-2007)

  • SPEED To Re-Air Tony Stewart's Nextel Prelude to the Dream: SPEED has secured exclusive basic cable replay rights for Tony Stewarts Nextel Prelude to The Dream dirt late model race, with the first airing scheduled for July 8 at noon ET. SPEED also will support the events cause, donating advertising time to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(SPEED TV PR)(6-30-2007)

  • More on Gibbs to Toyota...done deal? Extending Stewart to 2011? UPDATE Toyota denied; Stewart possibly: Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota are a done deal for 2008, according to several sources, though team executives said otherwise. Apparently one hangup in the talks between the long-time Chevy operation (which features #20-Tony Stewart) and Toyota is a clause in Gibbs current GM [Chevy] contract which bars the team from negotiating with any other manufacturer until the contract is up. So sources said Gibbs has had to go through an agent in the talks. Gibbs has a major negotiating session scheduled with General Motors in the next two weeks, which should provide the yea, or nay on that side of the issue. One of the big reasons for Toyotas intense interest in Gibbs Racing is Gibbs engine program, headed by Mark Cronquist, one of the best in the business. Gibbs is also renegotiating his contract with Stewart to extend it another two years. The contract runs through the end of 2009; the new package would run through the end of 2011.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-23-2007)
    UPDATE: J.D. Gibbs would like to sign #20-Tony Stewart to an extension that will keep the two-time Nextel Cup champion at Joe Gibbs Racing at least through 2011. Stewart's contract at JGR runs through 2009. But with a talented stable of young talent in the developmental pool and Stewart joking about retirement several times this season, the president of JGR would like to find out just what his marquee driver wants. "Hey, we want Tony to be here for a long time,'' Gibbs said before Sunday's race at Infineon Raceway. "If he said at the end of '09 I'm done, officially done, hey, we understand that. Let's go get a plan. The reality is, I think he wants to go [on]. How long does he want to go? I want all of those guys on the same page.'' Gibbs denied reports that he has a deal to leave General Motors for Toyota. "I've got to be honest,'' he said. "That's just not true. That's speculation. We're sitting down with the GM guys [in a few weeks]. We've had conversations with them. I don't think any GM team has signed a deal yet. That was kind of frustrating.'' JGR has been with GM for 16 seasons between Pontiac and Chevrolet. While Gibbs plans to discuss a new deal, he never ruled out talking to Toyota. Gibbs also didn't rule out talking to driver Kyle Busch, who became a free agent when it was announced Dale Earnhardt Jr. would replace him at Hendrick Motorsports next season.(ESPN.com)(6-25-2007)

  • Zipadelli to help build playground: Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the #20 Home Depot Racing Team, is teaming up with volunteers from The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, KaBOOM! and members of the Detroit community to build a racing-themed playground on Thursday, June 21 with Communities In Schools of Detroit, Inc. The playground is part of The Home Depot's Racing to Play program that is aimed at making a lasting, positive impression in the lives of children who live in NASCAR race communities. The playground's design is based on drawings by children who are served by Communities In Schools, which works to help kids succeed in school and prepare for life. The organization operates in more than 100 schools in the city and serves more than 40,000 children each year. The playground is being built at the Center for Community Collaboration, which is located in an area that is easily accessible by hundreds of the students served by Communities In Schools. The Home Depot's Racing to Play program will build 10 racing-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in 2007 and is a partnership between The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization whose vision is to create a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. In the program's first two years, more than 4,400 volunteers donated approximately 33,300 hours of service to build 20 Racing to Play playgrounds that have impacted the lives of more than 11,000 children in race markets across the country.(True Speed Communications PR)(6-18-2007)

  • Gibbs evaluating manufacturer alignment: Having lost the Dale Earnhardt Jr. sweepstakes, Joe Gibbs Racing [#s 11, 18, 20] President J.D. Gibbs says his team is focused on its current lineup of drivers. Gibbs says it's too early to talk about any interest in Kyle Busch nor whether his team will switch to Toyota next season. JGR has been with General Motors for 16 years. "We wanted to wait and see what happened with the Junior deal," Gibbs said Sunday prior to the Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan. "And then we're going to sit down and evaluate. We've been a partner with them for 16 years. We're going to look at it and evaluate and make sure we're on the same page. "Obviously, is Toyota out there as a possibility? I think they have probably talked to a number of different groups... We just want to make sure, as the sport changes, how do we stay where we need to be at JGR to stay ahead of the curve? And a big part is manufacturer."(SceneDaily.com)(6-18-2007)

  • 300th career start for Stewart at Sonoma: As the Nextel Cup Series rolls into California's wine country for this weekend's Toyota/SaveMart 350k at Infineon Raceway, it's time to toast Tony Stewart's 300th career Nextel Cup start. The driver of the # 20 Home Depot Chevy first came to stock car racing's pinnacle circuit in 1999 when he teamed with Joe Gibbs Racing and crew chief Greg Zipadelli. They debuted in the Daytona 500, where Stewart qualified on the outside front row next to another up-and-coming driver - Jeff Gordon. Stewart scored his first win in his 25th career start at Richmond, and has gone on to post 28 other wins and two Nextel Cup championships in his 274 starts since.(True Speed Communication PR)(6-18-2007)

  • Stewart unhappy with Gilliland after Happy Hour incident: #20-Tony Stewart was none too pleased Saturday with #38-David Gilliland, who caused considerable damage to Stewart's Chevy during the final Nextel Cup practice prior to Sunday's Citizen's Bank 400 at Michigan. The accident occurred when Gilliland was headed to pit road in his #38 Ford at the end of a long run on old tires. Stewart was just coming out of the pits on new tires. "He checks up at the end of the straightaway, and we run into him," a frustrated Stewart said. "It's really, really easy to see it. They've got two different cameras views of it, and he never stuck his hand out of the window [to signal he was going into the pits]. It really screwed up a really good racecar for [Sunday]. It didn't need to happen. It shouldn't happen." Stewart said he was hoping NASCAR officials would talk to Gilliland about what happened.(NASCAR.com)(6-17-2007)

  • Encore of Nextel Prelude to the Dream Available on HBO Pay-Per-View: For those who want to experience the excitement and camaraderie of the third annual Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice at Eldora Speedway, HBO Pay-Per-View will have encore presentations of the all-star dirt late model race available until June 10. Contact your satellite or cable provider and check your local listings for dates and times. I think from the time we got into hot laps to the time they dropped the checkered flag, we got as much drama as I have ever seen in a the Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice, said Tony Stewart, multi-time racing champion and owner of Eldora Speedway. All of us drivers had a lot of fun, and everyone I talked to who saw the live broadcast said it showed a side of us they hadnt seen before. The more than three-hour production features all the racing action, including three heat races, a B-Main race and the 30-lap feature, which features a thrilling duel between Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and winner Carl Edwards. The broadcast went behind the scenes as 26 world-class drivers went back to their racing roots by competing for nothing more than pride, a trophy and raising money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(True Speed Communication PR)(6-9-2007)

  • Nextel Prelude to the Dream - Edwards wins: Carl Edwards won the NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice dirt late model race June 6 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Edwards won the 30-lap race on the half-mile oval by .305 of a second over Kyle Busch. Jeff Gordon finished third. Edwards led all but two laps en route to victory, but had to contend with Gordon and Busch throughout much of the event. Gordon, who made his first appearance at Eldora since 1991, led lap 11 and challenged Edwards throughout most of the event. There were three cautions during the event, although the laps conducted under caution did not count. The only major accident occurred on lap 17 when Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte and Kasey Kahne crashed in turn two. Labonte and Stewart, who finished 21st and 22nd, respectively, were done for the night. Kahne was able to continue and finished sixth. The race was broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View with the proceeds from the groundbreaking telecast going to support the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Tony Stewart Foundation.
    Results of the NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream Presented by Old Spice Dirt Late Model event June 6 at the half-mile Eldora Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed and reason out (if any):
    1. (2) Carl Edwards, 30
    2. (8) Kyle Busch, 30
    3. (4) Jeff Gordon, 30
    4. (1) Ken Schrader 30
    5. (11) Clint Bowyer, 30
    6. (7) Kasey Kahne, 30
    7. (16) Matt Kenseth, 30
    8. (10) J.J. Yeley, 30
    9. (15) David Reutiman, 30
    10. (5) Mark Martin, 30
    11. (9) Aric Almirola, 30
    12. (18) Dave Blaney, 30
    13. (13) Kenny Wallace, 30
    14. (20) Kevin Harvick, 30
    15. (25) Juan Pablo Montoya, 30
    16. (17) Denny Hamlin, 30
    17. (21) Red Farmer, 30
    18. (12) Ryan Newman, 30
    19. (24) Cruz Pedregon, 29
    20. (22) Mike Wallace, 24
    21. (6) Bobby Labonte, 17, Accident T2
    22. (3) Tony Stewart, 17, Accident T2
    23. (23) Ray Evernham, 5, Spin T2
    24. (19) Ron Capps, 2, Mechanical
    Elliott Sadler, DNS
    Bill Elliott, DNS
    Race Statistics
    Margin of victory: .305 of a second
    Cautions: 3 (Lap 2: Capps stalled backstretch; Lap 6: Evernham spin T2; Lap 17 Stewart, Labonte, Kahne accident T1)
    Lead changes: 3 among 3 drivers
    Lap leaders: Schrader 1, Edwards 2-10, Gordon 11, Edwards 12-30
    Attendance: More than 20,000
    See results and more info about the Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice at www.eldoraspeedway.com.(True Speed Communication PR) (6-7-2007)

  • Stewart/Busch Tangle; Busch almost hits #20 crewman UPDATE 3 Suspension?: been asked why no penalty announced for #2-Kurt Busch on Tuesday [when penalties are usually announced], two reasons: 1) the Dover race was postponed from Sunday to Monday, so things got pushed back a day too; 2) the death of Bill France Jr. So we could see some sort of penalty announcement on Wednesday [June 6th]. ESPN2's NASCAR Now show reported that NASCAR officials met Tuesday afternoon about the situation. What happened? here is what I have posted in my race report: #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.(6-5-2007)
    UPDATE: #2-Kurt Busch and #20-Tony Stewart dealt with more than damaged cars following their incident on lap 271 of Monday's rain-delayed Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. They dealt with wounded feelings as well. The incident occurred when Busch tried to move up in front of Stewart and the left front of Stewart's car tagged the right rear of Busch's. Stewart then hit Busch again after Busch bounced off the wall. On pit road, Busch pulled up beside Stewart, who was sitting in his pit stall. NASCAR then parked Busch for endangering Stewart's crew members. A penalty is expected. They both paid for the accident, with Busch finishing 42nd and Stewart 40th.(SceneDaily.com)(6-6-2007)
    UPDATE 2: been hearing that Busch will be suspended one race and miss Pocono, nothing confirmed yet, no word who would drive the car. And Auto Racing Sport.com is reporting the same.(6-6-2007)
    UPDATE 3: ESPN2's NASCAR Now reported that NASCAR would not make any announcement on a penalty, if any, before Friday.(6-6-2007)

  • Toyota: Gibbs? Penske merge with Waltrip? UPDATE: Toyota, sources said, has approached the Gibbs team with a proposal to leave Chevrolet, which would give it #20-Tony Stewart, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-J.J. Yeley. Gibbs management doesnt appear to be that interested, but the offer hasnt been rejected, according to team sources. Penske [#2, #12], who has been with just about every manufacturer in racing over the years and who is one of the worlds biggest Toyota dealers, could be making the move to Toyota for next year. According to sources close to the situation, Penske could be looking at a merger with Michael Waltrips struggling Toyota operation. And there is speculation that Robert and Doug Yates [#38, #88] may be willing to listen to Toyota offers, even though they have long-standing ties with Ford.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-31-2007)

    UPDATE: Several sources tell SI.com that Toyota is going hard after Joe Gibbs Racing and that Gibbs is very interested. Officially, the Gibbs team denies any contact with Toyota: "It's news to us," team spokesman Mike Arning said. Toyota, as a matter of policy, does not comment on contract negotiations. The potential deal is a delicate subject for Gibbs and Toyota. Gibbs' contract with Chevrolet, which runs out at the end of the year, stipulates this is a non-negotiating period with other manufacturers. Is contact to determine interest negotiating? You'd have to read the fine print and then get a clarification from an arbitrator to determine that. But sources say there definitely has been communication between Toyota and Gibbs.(Sports Illustrated)(6-2-2007)

  • Stewart to work as pit reporter for SPEED during Nextel Open: #20-Tony Stewart will work as a SPEED pit reporter during the Nextel Open, a qualifying event that moves the top two finishers forward into the Nextel All-Star Challenge. Nextel Cup Series drivers #99-Carl Edwards, #18-J.J. Yeley and #84-A.J. Allmendinger have all agreed to make themselves available as SPEED pit reporters for the Nextel All-Star Challenge if they do not advance to the main event.(SPEEDtv PR)(5-15-2007)

  • Gibbs: Dale Jr. yes; Budweiser...probably not: J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing [#11,#18,#20], answered questions from members of the media at Darlington Raceway on Saturday afternoon:
    ON HIS REACTION TO DALE EARNHARDT, JR.'S ANNOUNCEMENT: "Really from our standpoint we're kind of watching stuff unfold as you guys were. I thought they did a great job on their press conference. I know that was hard for him. I think for us really we're just really focused on what we're doing now, our three cars. Would everyone want a chance to talk to Dale Jr.? Sure. Who wouldn't want a chance to talk to Dale Jr.? Right now it sounds like he and Kelley, whatever decision they come up with will be a good one. They just want a little time to think about it. When the time is right we'd love to sit down and talk to him and see what their plans are but right now we're just focusing on what we're doing."
    WOULD YOU HAVE BUDWEISER AS A SPONSOR? "For us it would be hard. It'd be hard. They've been a great partner of the sport and do a lot for us but personally that would be a hard deal for us to do."
    WOULD IT BE DEAL BREAKER HARD? "I'll just leave it at that right now. I'm not sure if that would fit for us. Even though we really appreciate what they're doing and they're a great group, it'd be hard for us to do."
    WILL TONY STEWART AND DENNY HAMLIN'S CLOSE FRIENDSHIP WITH DALE EARNHARDT JR. PLAY INTO THAT AT ALL?
    "You know I really don't know. Just from what I heard him say that might but for the most part he just wants to go and run well. I think he'll have a ton of opportunities and when the time is right, hey if the opportunity is there we'd love to sit down and talk to him but right now I think he's just focused on his deal and just we're focused on our deal."
    SO YOU DON'T PLAN ON PROACTIVELY SEEKING HIM OUT AND TALKING ABOUT IT?
    "I feel like right now he's got enough stuff going on and we'll just let stuff roll where it is. The best thing we can do in any situation is if we run the best we can week in and week out, no matter what happens down the road, I think that's our best plan. There's nothing really interesting. all I have to say is that I'm kind of watching it unfold like you guys are. Sounds like if he and Kelley, they're on the same page they'll make a good decision. I think they'll have a ton of opportunities. If the time is right, we could talk to them about that but right now, I think we're just going to focus on what we're focusing on and let that fall where it may."(in part from a GM Racing PR)(5-13-2007)

  • Stewart in NASCAR Control Tower for Busch Race: NASCAR officials invited #20-Tony Stewart to the join them in the control tower Friday night during the Busch race at Richmond. He was not required to attend, but was asked to join NASCAR officials so he could better understand the calling of the races, especially caution calls.(5-5-2007)

  • Tony Stewart Fined And Placed On Probation: NASCAR announced today that Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Chevy, has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2007 for failing to fulfill his post-race media obligation following the Subway Fresh Fit 500 race last Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway. Stewart violated Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-H (any member who violates 7-2B: Failure to meet obligation of an accepted entry; failure to fulfill post-race media obligation  with addition to the winning driver, the second and third-place drivers and the highest finishing rookie of the year candidate must also report to the media center upon the conclusion of the race) of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book.(NASCAR PR)(4-27-2007)

  • NASCAR responds to Stewarts comments UPDATE 4 Stewart penalized: NASCAR called Tony Stewart's comments "very, very disappointing." "NASCAR has been running races since 1948, and we place the safety of the drivers at the top of the list," said spokesman Jim Hunter. "We have more people and more resources than ever officiating our races. The safety of the drivers is our first priority. It has always been that way and will continue to be that way. There are thousands of talented race drivers out there who would consider it an honor to compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series."(Associated Press), see more on Stewart's comments below.(4-26-2007)
    UPDATE: been told that NASCAR didn't allow the #20 Home Depot team to unload the car until Tony Stewar went to the NASCAR Hauler to discuss his comments about NASCAR and the debris cautions/staging races.(4-27-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart met with NASCAR officials early this morning after a week in which he first skipped out on postrace media obligations following his second-place finish at Phoenix and then bashed the sanctioning body on his weekly radio show. According to the NASCAR entry blank, "the second and third place drivers, and the highest finishing Rookie of the Year candidate, must also report to the media center upon conclusion of the race." Since he left the track without fulfilling his obligation to speak to TV reporters or appear in the media center, Stewart has lashed out at NASCAR on his weekly radio show. Stewart met with officials at 7:00am/et, and NASCAR did not let his Joe Gibbs Racing team unload its car from the transporter until that meeting ended at 7:35am. Other competitors had unloaded their cars and begin work when the garage opened at 7am. Stewart is scheduled to meet with the media Friday.(SceneDaily.com)(4-27-2007)
    UPDATE 3: ........The remarks infuriated image-conscious NASCAR officials, who called Stewart in to address the issue at 6 a.m. Friday, the hour the garage opened. "It's a little tender for me to sit down right now," Stewart quipped. But it wasn't a joke to NASCAR, which was expected to announce penalties later Friday. Series officials watched from the back of the media center as a humbled Stewart made his comments, which contrasted starkly with his remarks Tuesday. "To be honest, the group that I spoke with this morning is a group of peers that I trust. If they tell me the stuff is out there, I believe them," he said. "I should have went to them instead of just saying it out in public. That's frustration that's been building up with all these debris cautions."(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE 4: SPEED reported that NASCAR has fined Stewart $10,000 and place Stewart on probabtion for the rest of the 2007 season for failing to fulfill his obligation to speak to TV reporters or appear in the media center at Phoenix.(4-27-2007)

  • NASCAR responds to Stewarts comments: NASCAR called Tony Stewart's comments "very, very disappointing." "NASCAR has been running races since 1948, and we place the safety of the drivers at the top of the list," said spokesman Jim Hunter. "We have more people and more resources than ever officiating our races. The safety of the drivers is our first priority. It has always been that way and will continue to be that way. There are thousands of talented race drivers out there who would consider it an honor to compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series."(Associated Press), see more on Stewart's comments below.(4-26-2007)

  • Stewart not Happy with NASCAR: #20-Tony Stewart accused NASCAR of "playing God" by using caution flags to orchestrate closer racing. During his Tony Stewart Live program Tuesday night on Sirius Satellite Radio, Stewart lambasted officials for throwing four yellow flags for debris during Saturday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Stewart didn't feel any of the caution periods were warranted, implying NASCAR intentionally was trying to bunch up the field by slowing the pace of the racing. "To me it's not all about the money, it's about the integrity of the sport, and when I feel our own sanctioning body isn't taking care of that, it's hard to support them and feel proud about being a driver in the Nextel Cup Series when they're throwing debris cautions," he said. "It's like playing God. They can almost dictate the race instead of the drivers doing it. It's happened too many times this year. You get so frustrated ... But enough of it's gone on that fans are writing in and talking about it. At what point does NASCAR get the hint? I guess NASCAR thinks, 'hey wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it's going to work in racing, too.' "
    NASCAR officials had no immediate reaction Wednesday to Stewart's remarks. Stewart was particularly displeased with a debris yellow that occurred as he was catching Kevin Harvick for the lead because "I was coming so fast, it was inevitable I was going to get around those guys, so NASCAR throws a debris caution ... I thought racing was about being better than the other guys." Stewart led a race-high 132 laps but finished second after falling behind winner Jeff Gordon when he pitted during the final yellow, which came for a three-car crash involving Dave Blaney, Kenny Wallace and J.J. Yeley. "That was only the second legitimate caution we had all day," Stewart said. "I can't understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they're stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR," he said. "I don't know that they've run a fair race all year." NASCAR has thrown 20 debris cautions in nine races this season, and finishes seemingly have been affected at least twice. At California Speedway in February, Jimmie Johnson was leading comfortably when a late debris caution eliminated his margin. After finishing third to Matt Kenseth, Johnson and runner-up Jeff Gordon both said he never saw any debris on the track to cause the yellow.
    about leaving the track: Stewart said the debris cautions were the reason he didn't address the media after the Phoenix race. "The aggravation for me was I didn't want to go in the media center and bash NASCAR," he said. "I don't mind doing it on my own radio show. Anyone who thinks this debris caution stuff is the right direction for NASCAR, I think you're crazy." NASCAR requires its top-three finishers to do interviews on pit road and the media center, but Stewart said it wasn't his obligation to comply. He's not expected to be penalized. "The thing with the media is they think it's our obligation to do those things," Stewart said. "It's a privilege that they get to (talk to us). That's the way it's always been. Maybe it is in some of these other guys' contracts, but it is not in my contract that says I have to go do any interviews after the race is over."(USA Today/Sirius Satellite Radio PR)(4-25-2007)

  • NASCAR investigates Stewart, Montoya incidents UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart is not expected to be fined for skipping the post-race press conference last weekend at Phoenix, but #42-Juan Pablo Montoya may be for an obscene gesture made on camera prior to a Busch Series practice. NASCAR officials are reviewing whether to penalize the former Formula One star who made the gesture at a cameraman following him from Nextel Cup qualifying to the Busch garage for practice. According to officials at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Montoya thought the cameraman was a person who has been shadowing him as part of a documentary for more than a month and that the gesture was all in fun. There is nothing in the NASCAR by-laws differentiating between using an obscene gesture or word in fun or anger. NASCAR officials plan to speak with Stewart and remind him of his post-race responsibilities. Stewart left the Phoenix track without fulfilling his media obligations because he was upset with a second-place finish.(ESPN.com)(4-25-2007)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced today that Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Dodge in the Busch Series, has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 because of an inappropriate gesture made during a practice session this past Thursday at Phoenix International Raceway. Montoya was in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book.(NASCAR PR)(4-25-2007)

  • No retirement consideration for Stewart ... for at least 2 1/2 years: #20-Tony Stewart made headlines when he said he was "ready to retire" after a frustrating race at Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday. Although Stewart later said he had spoken in the heat of the moment, retirement remains a possibility when his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing expires at the end of the 2009 season. "I'm not going anywhere for 2½ years," Stewart said Friday as he prepared for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. "We just have to assess in 2½ years where we're at and whether we're still having fun or not. If we are, we'll stay. If we're not, we'll go do something else."(ESPN.com/AP)(4-21-2007)

  • Stewart to hold press conference about weight loss: A press conference will be held at Phoenix International Raceway with Tony Stewart on Friday, April 20 at noon. Stewart will be discussing his impressive weight loss of 20 pounds and 15% body fat drop, all due to the healthy lifestyle change he embarked on. The renowned NASCAR driver will discuss how living a fit and active lifestyle is important to him and why he partnered with Subway Restaurants to help launch the new Subway Fresh Fit menu for adults and kids -- which also helped to switch him into a smaller fire suit for this season. Their new Subway Fresh Fit menu initiative, launched in March 2007, is centered on trying to help Americans make healthier choices and giving them better on-the-go meal options like raisins, milk, apples and water. Stewart will be accompanied by famed Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle, best known for losing 245 pounds by consumer Subway restaurant meals and walking to class while he attended Indiana University.(Subway PR)(4-20-2007)

  • Stewart discusses 'retirement' on his radio show: On last night's edition of his weekly SIRIUS NASCAR Radio show "Tony Stewart Live," #20-Tony Stewart and co-host Matt Yocum reviewed the weekend in Texas, looked back at Stewart's post-race comments on retirement, and talked about his run-in with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. On his post-race comments on being "ready to retire" after a frustrating day at Texas Motor Speedway: "I love the Home Depot team. I love my guys. We've still got unfinished business with the Daytona 500 and four other tracks that we haven't won at, I guess. I don't know. It's just kind of a weird deal. I didn't mean to put all of our fans in a three-alarm fire situation. It was more just emotion speaking than it was common sense. Trust me. There's one thing I can promise you. I'm not retiring before my contract is up [2009]. I've made a commitment to Home Depot and Joe Gibbs Racing. Even as disappointing as it was we've been in this situation before and we've battled back and won championships with it. So there's nobody on our race team that will throw in the towel, myself included. It's definitely tough when you have a car that you think you're going to have a really good weekend with and all of a sudden the next day it kind of washes away. After you've been at the racetrack for five straight days it's easy to let that emotion get to you."
    On his run-in with Juan Pablo Montoya: Stewart said: "We had Juan Pablo Montoya behind us on a restart and he tried to go to the outside of me and put me in the middle of three-wide before we even get to the flag stand and I didn't really appreciate that much. So about 15 laps into the run here he comes and instead of just being courteous to him I thought, 'Well, he was going to put me in a bad spot so I'm going to put him in a bad spot.' So I raced him and raced him and raced him and that's where I made my mistake. Juan didn't get to this position and didn't get to Formula One by making bad decisions. Even as a rookie this year, and it being a different series, even as much as he's accomplished in his career, you've still got things to learn when you move to a different series. We'll talk on Friday morning before we go to practice. I know he tried to get a hold of me yesterday and I told the Godfather (Eddie Jarvis) to call Chip [Ganassi] and make sure he got a hold of Juan and said, 'Hey, we're cool. We'll talk about it this weekend.' But I don't want to do it on the phone. I want to sit down so I can explain it to him. I've got a lot of respect for Juan. I still stand behind what I said at the beginning of the year. He's got more natural ability than 99% of the guys I've ever raced with."
    "Tony Stewart Live" airs every Tuesday (8-10pm/et) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128. The show re-airs Saturday at 7am/et.(SIRIUS PR)(4-19-2007)

  • NASCAR Day Scheme for Stewart at Texas: A special NASCAR Day paint scheme will adorn Tony Stewarts #20 Home Depot Chevy at Texas, as the worlds largest home improvement retailer is the exclusive retailer of NASCAR Day pins. The paint scheme kicks off Home Depots role with NASCAR Day, with pins available at stores nationwide April 16. NASCAR Day is a one-day celebration of the NASCAR spirit and its fans, and this years edition will be held on May 18. In exchange for a $5 donation, participants will receive a commemorative 2007 NASCAR Day lapel pin. Proceeds from the sale of NASCAR Day pins at The Home Depot will equally benefit The NASCAR Foundation Family of Charities, which is comprised of more than 30 nonprofit organizations supporting childrens causes, animal welfare and conservation efforts. NASCAR Day began in 2004 and celebrates its fourth observance in 2007. In 2006, NASCAR Day raised more than $1.3 million.(JGR/True Speed Comm. PR), see an image of the scheme on my #20 Team Scheme page.(4-12-2007)

  • Stewart/Home Depot start 2007 playground campaign: Racing to Play Kicks Off Third Year with Playground Build in Atlanta on Thursday, March 15th - #20-Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs, along with volunteers from The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, KaBOOM! and members of the Metro Atlanta community are joining forces to build a racing-themed playground in just one day at Evansdale Elementary School in Doraville, Ga. The playground is part of The Home Depot's Racing to Play program, which is aimed at making a lasting, positive impression in the lives of at-risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. The Home Depot's Racing to Play program will build 10 racing-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in 2007. It's a partnership between The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization whose vision is to create a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. In the program's first two years, more than 4,400 volunteers donated approximately 33,300 hours of service to build 20 Racing to Play playgrounds that have impacted the lives of more than 11,000 children in race markets across the country.(True Speed Communication/JGR)(3-15-2007)

  • Stewart headed for another Cup? in 2002, when #20-Tony Stewart won his first Cup championship, he finished 43rd in the Daytona 500. However in 2005, Stewart finished 9th, so...... anyhow, Stewart started the 2007 season off at Daytona, finishing 43rd.(2-22-2007)

  • Stewart going for history at Daytona: No one has ever won the Budweiser Shootout, Gatorade Duel (actually two races, but each driver only competes in one), Busch Series race and Daytona 500 in one season. #20-Tony Stewart, 35, has won the Shootout three times, a Duel twice and the Busch race the past two years. He has never won the 500.(Gaston Gazette)(2-17-2007)

  • Stewart Earns 100th Victory for JGR: #20-Tony Stewart's win in Thursday's Gatorade Duel non-point qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway marked the 100th professional victory for Joe Gibbs Racing. The 16-year-old company founded by Joe Gibbs, the three-time Super Bowl winning coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, earned its milestone victory by way of 54 point-paying Nextel Cup Series wins, seven non-point paying Nextel Cup wins, five Busch Series wins, 22 NHRA Top Fuel wins and 12 NHRA Funny Car wins. Dale Jarrett earned the team's first victory on racing's biggest stage when he won the 1993 Daytona 500. Jarrett went on to record the team's second victory when he won at Charlotte (N.C.) in October 1994. Stewart, who joined the Nextel Cup Series with Gibbs in 1999 driving the #20 Home Depot machine, accounts for 35 wins, six of which were non-point races (1999 Winston Open at Charlotte; 2001, 2002 and 2007 Budweiser Shootouts at Daytona; and the 2005 and 2007 Gatorade Duels, also at Daytona).(True Speed Communication/JGR PR)(2-16-2007)

  • Stewart wins the first Gatorade Duel 150, #60-Said and #55-Waltrip race their way into the Daytona 500, #70-Sauter is in via his qualifying speed. #44-Jarrett will need to use the past champions provisional to start 43rd. There are two more spots available for the two drivers not already locked in, they need to race their way in. #00-Reutimann and #14-Marlin is in via speed. If Marlin or Reutimann get in by racing their way in, #36-Mayfield would make the race, if BOTH make the race, then Mayfield and #23-Skinner would make the Daytona 500. This is, of course, unofficial. See my Gatorade Duel 150's Results page.(2-15-2007)

  • Stewart has no plans to run Indy 500 again: Tony Stewart's efforts to win the Indianapolis 500 appear to have ended. Asked about whether or not he'd ever run in the event again, the former open-wheel star who has won two NASCAR Cup championships said that he wouldn't completely rule it out, but he couldn't really envision it. "I've learned to never say never, but I look at my life as a book, and it's kind of like it's a chapter that's either on its last page or almost closed," Stewart said. "My [Joe Gibbs Racing] contract takes me to 39, and I don't see myself getting back into IndyCar at the age of 39."(SceneDaily.com)(2-10-2007)

  • Home Depot to Launch 2007 NASCAR Ad campaign: The Home Depot will debut a new NASCAR-themed television ad during the broadcast of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18 that features two-time Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. The spot accentuates The Home Depot's brand promise of "know-how" by introducing the Tony Stewart Institute where Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing, brings his on-track success and "know-how" to home improvement. During the 30-second spot, titled "Drills," Stewart accidentally bumps into the corner of his desk and a screw falls loose. Addressing the freshman class of 2007, Stewart asks if anyone has a cordless drill. The class responds by raising their hand, each holding a cordless drill while still taking notes. Stewart looks up, and upon seeing the eager students proclaims, "This should be a good year." The ads emphasize that the secret to success is "know-how," whether the individual is an associate at the Tony Stewart Institute or a racing superstar. The commercials will air throughout FOX's coverage of the Daytona 500 and during subsequent NASCAR races on the major television networks covering the 2007 Nextel Cup season. The Richards Group, based in Dallas, developed the commercials.(JGR/True Speed Commications PR)(2-7-2007)

  • Starter partners with JGR: Starter, a leader in developing licensed and innovative team apparel and footwear, formally announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] to develop footwear and apparel solutions for the NASCAR team's crews and drivers. The partnership is designed to provide a "Living Laboratory" for Starter to apply its experience working with world-class athletes in other sports to the needs of the drivers and crews of Joe Gibbs Racing's teams in the Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series. Starter and its parent company Nike Inc. already provide 70% of the footwear worn by NASCAR crews, but this partnership signals a deepening of the company's commitment to the sport. Starter is partnering with Motorsports Authentics, the leading consumer apparel provider in NASCAR, to build a line of merchandise for trackside sales and other distribution channels, providing consumers with the closest experience possible to being part of the team. Starter, which grew to prominence in the 1980s with its line of Starter athletic jackets, is aggressively building its presence in NASCAR by delivering performance apparel and footwear products valued for all consumers. Among the first products to be introduced in 2007 is an authentic race-day jacket to be worn by #'s 20, 18 and 11 Nextel Cup teams. All products will meet a mandate of expressive, authentic, cool, reliable, crafted and durable performance, while utilizing the latest fabric and technology advancements over the past few years.(JGR PR)(1-29-2007)

  • Stewart still talking to IROC about race at Eldora: Defending IROC champion Tony Stewart said he still is talking to IROC officials about hosting an event at his dirt track, Eldora Speedway, in Indiana [actually Ohio]. The International Race of Champions is on hold because no sponsor has stepped forward since Crown Royal pulled out. The traditional opener at Daytona already has been canceled.(ESPN.com/Newton Blog)(1-27-2007)

  • Gibbs struggling with grandson's leukemia diagnosis: A 2-year-old grandson of Washington Redskins head coach [and Nextel Cup team owner] Joe Gibbs has been diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing chemotherapy, a development that has been "devastating" to the Hall of Fame coach. According to Gibbs' personal Web site [joegibbsonline.com], Zachary Taylor Gibbs -- the son of NASCAR [team] executive J.D. Gibbs -- was ruled to have leukemia two weeks ago. Zachary Taylor has already undergone surgery. "We got the news on Taylor, and it was really devastating to our whole family," Gibbs said on his Web site. "So I've kind of been going through a process here the last two weeks, and I'm probably like a lot of you, this is much more important than winning football games. And winning football games is important. That's the third most important thing in my life. God's first, family and loved ones second and then my occupation third. "So as we struggle with this news with Taylor, we did get a good report this week, and he's had a number of surgeries that he's been through, he's in chemo now, and so we sure appreciate your prayers," Gibbs said. The coach is about to enter the fourth year of a five-year contract, a deal he has vowed to complete, assuming his health holds up. He turned 66 last season and often talked about spending offseason time with his "grandbabies." J.D. Gibbs, his oldest son, serves as president of Joe Gibbs Racing in North Carolina, and Gibbs' other son, Coy, is an offensive quality control coach for the Redskins. Between them, they have six sons and one daughter. On his Web site, Joe Gibbs said that Zachary Taylor's leukemia "kind of threw us all for a loop" and added it "way overshadows anything like our occupation and me winning football games."(ESPN.com)(1-24-2007)

  • Stewart, Schrader and Kenny Wallace buy into Macon track: One of the oldest race tracks in Illinois gets new life with new owners. Macon Speedway revealed the new ownership team Sunday as part of the Racing Expo at the State Fairgrounds. Past track owner-operator Macon's Bob Sargent and NASCAR stars Tony Stewart, Kenny Wallace and Ken Schrader make up the team. Racing on the dirt track ended ahead of schedule last season because of financial hard times. The track was built back in 1946 in Macon.(wandtv.com)(1-22-2007)

  • Nardelli resigns from Home Depot: Bob Nardelli abruptly resigned Wednesday as chairman and chief executive of The Home Depot Inc. after a six-year tenure that saw the world's largest home improvement store chain post big profits but left investors disheartened by poor stock performance. Nardelli has also been under fire by investors for his hefty pay and is leaving with a severance package valued at about $210 million. He became CEO in December 2000 after being passed over for the top job at General Electric Co., where Nardelli had been a senior executive. Home Depot said Nardelli was being replaced by Frank Blake, its vice chairman, effective immediately. Blake's appointment is permanent, Home Depot spokesman Jerry Shields said. What he will be paid was not immediately disclosed, Shields said.(Associated Press), no idea what, if anything this means to the sponsorship of the #20 Home Depot Chevy that Tony Stewart drive for Joe Gibbs Racing, Home Depot is signed thru 2009.(1-3-2007)

  • Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart not testing at Daytona: #20-Tony Stewart and #7-Robby Gordon don't plan to attend the preseason Nextel Cup testing session scheduled to begin Monday [Jan 8th] at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart did not test at the track in 2005 and 2006 and once again will skip the session with approval from his team. Daytona testing typically means more for crews to get the cars set up right than it does for the drivers. Veteran racer Mike McLaughlin will test the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy for Stewart. Gordon is competing in the Dakar Rally, which runs Jan. 6-21 through seven countries in Europe and Africa. Gordon, who has made the switch from Chevy to Ford, likely will be replaced by P.J. Jones for the test session.(SceneDaily.com), for the tenative list of drivers testing at Daytona, see my 2007 Testing Page.(1-2-2007)

  • Stewart tests winter driving skills: Year after year, vehicles slip and slide out of control as winter conditions wreak havoc, often rendering even the most experienced drivers helpless  but some of the rules drivers have been taught for years have changed. #20-Tony Stewart tested his winter driving skills in upstate New York at a charity event for his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli. He practiced several tips that experts say can help drivers stay safe when they find themselves behind the wheel in bad weather. (see more at ABCnews.com)(1-2-2007)

  • Stewart wins two at Fort Wayne: USAC Triple Crown winner Tony Stewart did what many of the sellout crowd wanted  win Saturday night at the Ft. Wayne Memorial Coliseum. And just like he did in Fridays campaign, he battled from midpack to take the point early. On Saturday, he started ninth, one spot behind where he was Friday, but it took him one less lap to get to the front. He stayed in eighth after the first lap, then picked off four cars on the second and was past Rich Corson  whom he took the lead from Friday  on Lap 7 on the inside of Turn 2 and ran away.(USAC Racing site)(1-2-2007)

2006 News

  • Chevy to Sponsor Tony Stewart Racing in USAC and WoO: #20-Tony Stewart and officials from GM Racing and Chevy announced that Chevy will power and sponsor Tony Stewart Racing's entries in the United States Auto Club and the World of Outlaws Sprint Series for three years beginning in 2007. Chevrolet will serve as the primary sponsor and engine supplier for all of TSR's USAC teams, with Bass Pro Shops carrying on as an associate sponsor. For the #20 Winged Sprint car in the World of Outlaws, Chevrolet will also provide engines while serving as an associate sponsor. Bass Pro Shops will maintain its role as the team's primary sponsor.(GM Racing PR)(12-13-2006)

  • JGR are NASCAR Football Champs: NASCAR Flag Football: Joe Gibbs Racing are the 2006 Champions of Bob Hubner's Totally Racin' Flag Football League presented by Race City Resumes.com. JGR led by quarterback J.D. Gibbs went 10-0 competing against 5 other NASCAR Teams for the title. Evernham Motorsports Hendrick Motorsports, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Roush Racing and Team Red Bull.(Race City Resumes)(12-6-2006)

  • Stewart makes surprise appearance: Two-time Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart made a surprise appearance in the 66th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale Speedway on Thursday night. Stewart spent the afternoon putting down test laps, but made no indication he was racing until he took his car out for qualifying. It turns out Stewart was trying to make his first USAC race of the year. Not that he has much time for USAC racing with his NASCAR schedule. But he owns a Midget team and apparently decided a week ago to race his own car in the traditional USAC event that is run on Thanksgiving. After beating a slew of NASCAR stars in qualifying, Kody Swanson of Kingsburg ended up battling his Western Speed Racing teammate Billy Wease {Penske Dev. driver] in the Midget race. Wease led the final 20 laps to win after he and Swanson ran into lapped traffic late in the race. Wease was able to maneuver his way through the lapped cars better than Swanson and won by 0.189seconds. Swanson, who crashed and rolled his car during the USAC Sprint car race, started from the pole in the 100-lap Midget race that included a NASCAR-filled field with Stewart, Mears, Jason Leffler and Truck Series driver Bobby East. Wease, who started fifth, caught Swanson on lap 80 and took the lead on the next lap. But on lap 90, Stewart crashed with Brady Bacon [Ganassi Dev. Driver] and set up a five-lap shootout between Wease and Swanson. Casey Mears was the highest finisher among the NASCAR drivers entered in the race, taking 16th. Stewart was 24th, Leffler was 30th and East finished last, in 34th place. Swanson, from Kingsburg, Calif., was the top qualifier of the 59 cars that came out for the Midget race. He beat out Stewart, Mears, Leffler and a host of USAC stars to win the pole in 16.988 seconds around the half-mile paved oval. Mears, Stewart and East, a driver on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, were in the same Midget B-main race to qualify for the feature. East won the B-main with Stewart in second and Mears in fourth. Tony Hunt led all 30 laps of the USAC Sprint car race and capped his championship season with a win in the Turkey Night GP. Mike Murgoitio was second and Tracy Hines was third. Mears, who started the Sprint car race in eighth, finished 16th, more than 10 seconds behind the race winner.(Los Angeles Daily News)(11-24-2006)

  • Stewart wins lap leader award: #20-Tony Stewart clinched the $75,000 cash prize as the WIX Filters Lap Leader of the 2006 season. This is the second consecutive season Stewart has captured the overall prize.(Camp & Assoc PR)(11-202006)

  • Stewart wins at Texas: #20-Tony Stewart won the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd straight win [won at Atlanta last week], 5th win of the 2006 season, 29th of his career and becomes the 12th different winner at Texas in 12 races. Stewart led the most laps with 278. #48-Johnson finished 2nd [for the 2nd race in a row] to take over the points lead over #17-Kenseth by 17 points. The rest of the top-10 were #29-Harvick, #5-Busch, #07-Bowyer, #8-Earnhardt Jr., #42-Mears, #24-Gordon, #2-Busch and #11-Hamlin. Other Chasers: #17-Kenseth 12th; #6-Martin 22nd; #9-Kahne [lost an engine with 10 laps to go while running 2nd] and #31-Burton [lost a tire on lap 91 and wrecked] finished 38th. There were 12 cautions for 51 laps and 13 drivers lead the race with 23 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Texas Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Texas page
    Race Rundown: see my Texas Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(11-5-2006)

  • Stewart wins at Atlanta: #20-Tony Stewart won the Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 4th win of the 2006 season and 28th of his career [tied for 17th overall with Rex White]. Stewart led the most laps with 146. #48-Johnson finished 2nd to close the points lead to 26 over #17-Kenseth who finished 4th after fighting with #8-Earnhardt Jr. for 3rd. #16-Biffle got he 5th spot with the rest of the top-10 being #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, #11-Hamlin, #01-Nemechek and #7-Robby Gordon. Some Chasers had rough days with #9-Kahne wrecking and finished 38th and #6-Martin got caught up in a big wreck towards the end of the race and finished 36th. #31-Burton had some tire problems finished 13th. #29-Harvick just didn't have a good car, finishing 4 laps down in 31st. #5-Kyle Busch lost it early in the race, damaged the front of the car and was never a factor, finishing 27th, 4 laps down. Looks like a 5 driver race for The Chase. There were 9 cautions for 39 laps and 7 drivers lead the race with 24 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Atlanta Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Atlanta page
    Race Rundown: see my Atlanta Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(10-29-2006)

  • Ragan finds a way to talk to Stewart: With last week's on-track run-in with Tony Stewart still fresh in his mind, David Ragan came to Atlanta with reconciliation on his mind. Knowing that it might be hard to get Stewart alone, Ragan bid $5,750 at Thursday night's Speedway Children's Charities auction to buy the pre-race ride around the track with Stewart. "I've never spoken to Tony before; I'm kind of happy he knows my name actually, but not for these reasons," Ragan said. "This will give us a chance to talk a little bit." Ragan, the son of former NASCAR driver Ken Ragan, triggered a three-car wreck last weekend in Martinsville, taking out Ken Schrader and Tony Stewart, angering both veterans. Stewart had a few choice words for the young driver after the accident, and Ragan knows that he can't start his career in Nextel Cup making enemies. "Tony, he criticized me a lot after last week, and when a champion does that, it's good to go talk to him," Ragan said. "I think I'll ask him his thoughts, what I should have done different, just introduce myself so that if I step out of line in the future he'll come and talk to me about it." Ragan was expected to attempt to qualify for both Saturday's Craftsman Truck race and Sunday's Nextel Cup race, but NASCAR did not approve him to compete in the upper level event. He is still hopeful that he will be approved before next weekend's race in Texas. "I was disappointed, but at least I'll be running the truck race here," Ragan said. "I'm happy; I'm just 20 years old, and I'm here in the truck series."(AMS Pit Notes)(10-27-2006)

  • Stewart's 2nd's at Talladega tie a record: #20-Tony Stewart's six second-place finishes without a victory matches the record for current tracks. Bobby Allison never won at Martinsville but finished runner-up six times, and Mark Martin has the same distinction at Pocono.(Gaston Gazette)(10-8-2006)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Takes Top Honors in Kansas: By claiming the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge win in Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Kansas Speedway, Tony Stewart's over-the-wall crew moved into a three-way tie for first place in the season-long competition. It was the fourth win of the season for Stewart's crew, equaling the number of victories scored by Jimmie Johnson's and Kyle Busch's teams. Along with paying the winning pit crew $10,500 at each race, Checkers/Rally's will also award a $105,000 bonus to the crew with the most victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule. The weekly pit crew winner is determined by the team which spends the lowest cumulative time on pit road and finishes on the lead lap. Stewart, who drove his #20 Chevrolet to Victory Lane in Kansas, praised his crew for an outstanding effort during the 267-lap, 400-mile event. "I'm really proud of the guys on this Home Depot team," said Stewart. "They work so hard and had an awesome day at Kansas. We never lost a position on pit lane all day. We at least maintained or gained positions on each stop. It was the best day the guys have had on pit road all season." Stewart's over-the-wall crew is comprised of: Jason Lee (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Ira-Jo Hussey (front-tire changer), Jody Fortson (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff Patterson (gasman), Brian Larson (catch can) and Scott Geerts (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa. "The Home Depot crew really picked it up and kept us in contention by being consistent," added Stewart, "That's what the Double Drive-Thru Challenge is all about. It proves that consistency means more than one quick stop." To date, Checkers/Rally's has paid out $304,500 in NEXTEL Cup Series prize money during this season. The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season with the Nextel Cup Series. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(10-4-2006)

  • Stewart buys into Paducah: Recently, provisions were made to welcome Stewart as a fourth partner in Paducah International Raceway along with Ken Schrader, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Bob Sargent. This expansion will only benefit the track, local community and dirt racing industry and we look forward to having Tony onboard. We are all committed to building upon the successes of this inaugural year and optimistic about the 2007 racing season.(paducahinternationalraceway.com PR)(9-25-2006)

  • Six Flags Paint Scheme on the #20 Chevy at Dover: The hood of the #20 Home Depot Chevy will feature Six Flags graphics to commemorate the strategic partnership with The Home Depot and to launch the Fright Fest in-store promotion. From Sept. 29 through Oct. 31, over 1,000 The Home Depot stores nationwide will offer discount coupons to 12 Six Flags parks. Discounts range from "Buy One Get One Free" to "Save $15 to 10% Off." Coupons are available at stores within a 150-mile radius of Six Flags-branded U.S. theme parks. Motorsports Authentics and Six Flags have a licensing agreement for the production of 3,400 1/24-scale die cast cars to be sold online and through Motorsports Authentics dealer networks.(True Speed Communication/JGR PR), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2006)

  • Home Depot and KaBOOM up for award: The Home Depot and KaBOOM! have been selected as a finalist for the US Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizen Business Partnership award. They were nominated for their "Racing to Play" program where they built 10 playgrounds in race markets (also built 10 last year) with Home Depot and Joe Gibbs Racing. The next round is a "Peoples Choice" selection determined by a vote through their website (voting ends on September 15th). They are only a few hundred votes behind, to vote, go to uschamber.com. The Home Depot's Racing to Play program is an initiative designed to make a lasting, positive impression in the lives of at-risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. Now in its second year, the program will build 10 racing-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in 2006 and is a partnership between the company, Joe Gibbs Racing, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. More info at kaboom.org(PR)(9-13-2006)

  • Kahne's event raises $144k; Stewart ok after wreck: #9-Kasey Kahne's year-old charity, the Kasey Kahne Foundation, which raises money to aid disadvantaged and critically ill children, raised $144,000 from Race night at Skagit Speedway [WA]. Fans clamored to see him and fellow NASCAR driver Tony Stewart take part in the sold-out event. They came early and stayed late. They proffered everything from hats and glossies to model cars and T-shirts for autographs. Some just wanted to be near him, as evidenced by the squealing teenage girl who got close enough to take a picture on her cell phone before running off with a hugest of grins. It even took a little sting out of what could have been a bad break. Stewart, the defending Nextel Cup champion and currently eighth in the standings, flipped his car going around the third turn on the first lap of his qualifying heat. His car, which was later auctioned off, was badly damaged and Stewart appeared to have suffered a minor concussion. He was deemed fine enough to skip a hospital visit. Stewart returned later in street clothes, joking around in the pits with Kahne. Even the crash couldn't dampen the night's good vibes. "I love dirt track racing," Stewart told the crowd. "I was looking forward more to racing Kasey and being here than racing in (Sunday's Nextel Cup race at) Fontana (Calif.) this weekend. I love this kid like a little brother and I'm glad I could be here."(Seattle Post-Intelligencer)(8-31-2006)

  • Pocono Combatants Called in by NASCAR to talk: #20-Tony Stewart, #07-Clint Bowyer and #99-Carl Edwards were called to the NASCAR hauler Saturday for a chat with NASCAR president Mike Helton. Those three drivers were involved in a crash two weeks ago at Pocono when Stewart deliberately turned into Bowyer, causing Bowyer to hit Edwards. No one was saying exactly what was discussed, but no doubt Helton warned the drivers to mind their manners today in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.(Dallas Morning News)(8-6-2006)

  • Bowyer not satisfied with Stewart 'apology': #07-Clint Bowyer said Friday he and #20-Tony Stewart had talked about their incident at Pocono Raceway last weekend, but Bowyer didn't sound like he was satisfied with the discussion. Stewart bumped Bowyer on lap 32 of the Pennsylvania 500 after what Stewart later described was a lack of patience on Bowyer's part. On Monday, Stewart issued an apology to the media, but Bowyer said his talk with Stewart didn't seem like an apology. "I don't know exactly what you'd want to call it," Bowyer said. "I don't know if Tony knows what an apology is. It's probably as close as you're going to get with Tony." Bowyer didn't speak with the media at Pocono, leaving the garage area after also failing to talk with Stewart. But Bowyer did speak his mind to reporters at Gateway. "We drove from 14th to sixth in the first run, in 12 laps," Bowyer said. "It wasn't like we didn't have a fast car. It's a very long race. We over-adjusted a little bit and got the car too loose. I basically was giving spots up. I gave away four before him. I moved over to let him have it, but instead of going to the inside, he went to the outside. I guess he thought I was racing him. That's the biggest thing about the whole thing: I was trying to get out of his way. Somehow, he took it the wrong way and wrecked me for it."(SceneDaily.com)(7-30-2006)

  • Statement from Tony Stewart Regarding Lap 32 Incident at Pocono: The following is a statement from Nextel Cup Series driver Tony Stewart regarding the lap 32 incident in Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 that involved Stewart, Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards. "I'm taking 100 percent responsibility for the final incident that occurred on lap 32 between myself, the 07 (Bowyer) and the 99 (Edwards). It was totally my fault. At the same time, there were circumstances that led up to that wreck, and after talking with Clint this morning, we both have a better understanding as to what happened. He was trying to get out of my way and didn't realize that I had gone to the outside. He thought I was to his inside, and when he tried to give me some room, he slid into us and it put us into the outside wall. I reacted, causing the wreck that I take responsibility for and regret." On lap 32, Stewart was racing on the outside of Bowyer through turn three of Pocono's 2.5-mile triangle when Bowyer's car pushed out toward the wall. Stewart gave as much ground as he could until scraping the wall with the right side of his #20 Chevrolet. As he came off the wall, Stewart made contact with Bowyer, sending Bowyer's #07 Chevrolet into Edwards' #99 Ford. NASCAR penalized Stewart one lap for aggressive driving, putting the two-time and reigning Nextel Cup champion 41st in the 43-car field. Stewart regained his lead lap status on lap 41 by passing then leader #12-Ryan Newman. Stewart went on to finish seventh in the 200-lap race.(True Speed Communication PR)(7-25-2006)

  • Stewart's Hearse Makeover to be featured on Unique Whips: Tony Stewart and his now famous 1984 Cadillac Brougham hearse will be the main subject of an upcoming Unique Whips mini marathon Aug. 2, starting at 8:00pm/et on Speed Channel. This Unique Whips mini marathon will focus on New York-based Unique Autosports' build and unveiling of the Indiana resident's unusual ride. The three one-hour shows begin with a reprise of the original delivery to Unique Autosports owner Will Castro, as he attended Stewart's dramatic victory during last year's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two new episodes will then journey SPEED viewers through the tricking out and presentation of Stewart's well-publicized custom whip. "We had never done a build like this," Castro said. "We're always taking cars that are worth $100 thousand and up - making them unique. This was the first time we'd taken a $1.99 'hoopty' and turned it into a $100 thousand whip." Stewart was pleased with the results. "Will (Castro) and the crew did a great job with my hearse," Stewart said. "Both Will and I knew it was going to be quite a project, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out. As usual, Will assembled a great crew to work on the car and it's why I've always trusted Unique Autosports to complete builds like this. I hope the fans enjoy the makeover as much as I enjoy the car.(Speed Channel PR)(7-25-2006)

  • Rudd to 4th Gibbs team? car owner Joe Gibbs is possibly interested in expanding to a fourth Nextel Cup team - with Ricky Rudd, if Rudd is amenable. Rudd drove Dover for Gibbs last month while #20-Tony Stewart was recuperating, and the Gibbs team was pleased with how easy Rudd was to work with, and with how competitive Rudd still is. Red Bull has also talked with Rudd about a ride next year.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-17-2006)

  • Stewart honored at Indy: #20-Tony Stewart received more accolades and one-of-a-kind awards for winning the 2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard during a public ceremony and media event July 5 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Stewart accepted his race winners ring from IMS President and Chief Operating Officer Joie Chitwood. Stewart will try to earn a repeat victory in the 13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, Aug. 6. Two-time NASCAR champion Stewart also helped unveil a piece of artwork by noted motorsports artist Sam Bass that Bass has donated to the Hall of Fame Museum. The artwork on display at the museum is a one-of-a-kind color reproduction of an original painting that The Home Depot commissioned Bass to create for Stewart. The art commemorates post-race events from Stewarts long-sought, emotional victory at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Stewart kissing the famous Yard of Bricks, climbing the Speedways catch fence, his No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet crossing the finish line and a headshot of Stewart. Stewart also officially opened an exhibit at the Hall of Fame Museum featuring five cars, scheduled to be on display until June 2007, which played a significant role in Stewarts rise from Indiana short-track racer to motorsports superstar.(IMS Site)(7-6-2006)

  • Stewart wins 2nd Pepsi 400 in a row: #20-Tony Stewart won the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway for his 2nd win in a row in this event, his 26th win of his career and his 2nd win of 2006. Stewart led 86 of 160 laps and came from 6th to 2nd before passing surprising #60-Boris Said to win the race, #5-Kyle Busch helped push Stewart and finished 2nd, followed by #2-Kurt Busch, #60-Boris Said, #17-Matt Kenseth, #38-Elliott Sadler, #42-Casey Mears, #26-Jamie McMurray, #29-Kevin Harvick and #07-Clint Bowyer. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, even thou leading 8 laps, was never a factor and finished 13th. #24-Jeff Gordon got caught up in a late wreck and finished 40th and out of the race, dropping him out of the top-10 in points. #16-Biffle also was involved in the wreck and fell out of the top 10, with #5-Busch and #11-Hamlin move back up into the top 10 points. There were 29 lead changes among 15 drivers and 6 cautions for 19 laps.
    Race Results on my Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points page.
    Race Rundown: see my Daytona Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(7-1-2006)

  • Stewart to run DEI car at LMS Busch race: Tony Stewart will drive a DEI entry in the October Busch Series race at Lowes Motor Speedway. The car will carry sponsorship from Goodys Headache Powders, which will run a contest in conjunction with the race. As part of the promotion, Goodys will choose a Mayor of Goodys Country. That person will then get their picture on the hood of the #8 DEI Chevy. The nomination period ends July 23 at the conclusion of the Goodys 250 NASCAR Busch Series Race weekend at Martinsville Speedway.(more info at the DEI Site)(7-1-2006)

  • Stewart: last question about injury: His broken right shoulder blade is getting to be a sore subject for Tony Stewart. "This is the last time we're going to answer this," he said Thursday when the topic came up as he talked with reporters at Infineon Raceway in advance of Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350. "It's 100 percent."(Associated Press)(6-23-2006)

  • Gibbs teams up with Arena Racing: Arena Racing USA, which has been sanctioning indoor stock car races in Virginia since 2003 at the Hampton Coliseum and the Norfolk Scope, has partnered with Joe Gibbs Racing to expand arena racing to Charlotte, and eventually, cities across America. Arena Racing USA features half-scale stock cars capable of 100 mph, but are confined to a 1/10th mile banked, indoor race track. The track is portable and fits inside the confines of a hockey rink. Arena Racing USA's Charlotte home will be the Cricket Arena on Independence Blvd [NC 74]. Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing and head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, and Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries, are backing Arena Racing USA's Charlotte effort, along with Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley.(more info at Joe Gibbs Racing site/True Speed Communications PR)(6-13-2006)

  • Father's Day message for Stewart at MIS: Tony Stewart's #20 Home Depot Chevy will have a special "Father's Day" paint scheme on the hood of his car for Sunday's race, and next week's race at Michigan.(CNNSI/AP)(6-11-2006)

  • Stewart plans to run full race at Pocono: from TonyStewart.com: Since you're still nursing a fractured right scapula, what are your expectations for Pocono?
    Tony Stewart: "I plan to make it through the whole weekend. Every day my muscles feel like they're getting stronger, and I don't think it's a bone issue as much as it's a muscle issue. I got fitted for a new ButlerBuilt seat and we'll have it in the car for this weekend. We think it's a better design - a newer version of what I had been running. It was time to put something new in there. Brian Butler and his staff did an awesome job of accommodating me and getting a seat pumped out in a short amount of time so we would have it for Pocono, so we really appreciate their effort. I fully believe that with the new seat and another week of rest that we'll be ready to go."
    TonyStewart.com: Will you have a relief driver on standby?
    Tony Stewart: "We'll make that decision closer to the end of the week. But I really don't anticipate needing a relief driver. I appreciate what Ricky (Rudd) did for us last week at Dover, but he's on vacation with his family this week and I want him to enjoy his vacation. I'm confident that by the end of the week I'll be strong enough to go do the whole race at Pocono by myself."(TonyStewart.com)(6-7-2006)

  • Rudd gets medical clearance to run at Dover; Ricky Rudd spent part of Wednesday getting medical clearance so he can stand by for Tony Stewart this weekend at Dover and part of the day practicing with the Home Depot Chevrolet crew getting in and out of the race car. Rudd said We practiced driver changes...my part of it because Im sure Tonys still resting. Everyones seat belts and shoulder harnesses and seats are a little different so Ive been working and trying to come up with something that is easy to make and quick enough to make on a pit stop without giving up a lot of time. His super sub role will apparently be decided on a week to week basis. I think a lot of it is going to be lets see how it works this weekend said Rudd. When you have an alternate game plan like Tony Stewart and these guys are having to take right now I think you leave everything as open as you can and youve gotta be real flexible. We dont really know. Tony might be able to stay in the car the whole race. There are a lot of unknowns here so were just kind of winging it as we go.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(6-1-2006)

  • Stewart Sustains Fracture of Right Scapula UPDATE Stewart will start race, then Ricky Rudd to take over: #20-Tony Stewart sustained a fracture of his right scapula in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series race when a flat right front tire sent his #20 Home Depot Chevy into the SAFER barrier on the outside retaining wall of turn one. Stewart was running in the 25th position when the accident happened on lap 33 of the 400-lap race. According to doctors at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, a CT scan revealed a minimally displaced fracture at the tip of the right scapula. Stewart is scheduled to meet with Joe Gibbs Racing's team physicians on Tuesday for further evaluation. An update on Stewart's condition will be provided following that evaluation.(True Speed Communication PR)(5-28-2006)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart will start Sunday's Neighborhood Excellence 400 at Dover International Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said Tuesday afternoon. Gibbs said during a break of the test of the "car of tomorrow" that the team would release an official statement later in the day updating the condition of Stewart, who broke his shoulder blade in a crash during the Coca-Cola 600 last Sunday. "He's definitely sore, no doubt about it," Gibbs said. "We'll know more here in a little bit." JGR Senior Vice President Jimmy Makar said the team is looking at its options and has a short list of drivers available if needed to spell Stewart this weekend. Mike Bliss, a former JGR driver, is on that list. Bliss was at the track Sunday in case Stewart had to get out of the car from beings sore as a result of a Busch Series accident. "Usually an injury like that comes from the seat, and the design of the area of the seat, we're looking at that to see if there is anything we can do or something that needs to be given some attention," Makar said. "Bobby [Labonte] sustained an injury at Darlington years ago, a lot worse than Tony's. We think we know what it is, and we're going to address that area to see if we can get some more support under the shoulder." The accident, coming on the heels of a hard accident the day before in the Busch Series event, was the result of a bead melting in the tire. The outside of the tire was fine as far as temperature, Makar said. "That's something we see on occasion at short tracks - we use a lot of brakes and get a lot of brake heat," Makar said. "For a speedway like this, that's a really odd thing to see. Tony said he wasn't using an excessive amount of brake compared to what he has done here in the past. We're kind of shaking our heads a little bit about why that happened, where that heat came from."(SceneDaily.com) and hearing reports that Ricky Rudd is being considered as an option to drive the #20 Powerade Chevy at Dover.
    UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart will not require surgery for the fractured right scapula he sustained in an accident during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Stewart's #20 Chevy suffered a right front tire failure on lap 33 of the 400-lap race, sending the #20 machine into the SAFER barrier on the outside retaining wall of turn one. Stewart was running in the 25th position when the accident happened. "Tony sustained a non-displaced fracture at the tip of his right scapula," said Dr. Jerry Petty, a neurosurgeon who has consulted with many NASCAR drivers. "It is a non-surgical injury that only time and rest can heal." While Stewart's fractured right scapula won't require surgery, it will limit his participation in this weekend's Nextel Cup event at Dover.
    Veteran NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd has been secured by Joe Gibbs Racing to serve as the relief driver for the #20 team this weekend at Dover. Rudd, a winner of 23 Nextel Cup races - four of which came at Dover - will practice and qualify the #20 Chevrolet while Stewart will start the 400-lap race. Rudd will be on standby in the pit area to relieve Stewart at any point during the event. By starting at Dover, Stewart will receive all points toward the Nextel Cup driver's championship. "Tony's injury is unfortunate, and we are going to do everything we can to get him healed up quickly," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Tony is as tough as they come, but we aren't going to take any chances on making his situation worse. We're very appreciative of Ricky Rudd for being able to drive the #20 car at Dover. He's a proven winner who will allow us to stay in contention for the championship." Stewart is currently fourth in the championship point standings, 231 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson.
    "Tony's our driver and we'd love to have him in the car, but we want him to be 100%, not just for one race but for the rest of the season," said Greg Zipadelli, crew chief for the #20 team. "We'll do what we have to do until he heals up. This is a strong race team that's no stranger to adversity, so I know we'll make the best of this situation at Dover and in the weeks to come." Al Shuford, a certified athletic trainer formerly with the NFL's Carolina Panthers, will work with Stewart to get him ready for his limited participation at Dover and what is expected to be his full participation during the Nextel Cup race weekend at Pocono June 9-11. Shuford joined Joe Gibbs Racing in October 2000. "Basically, we're just going to work with Tony to make him comfortable," said Shuford. "As Dr. Petty said, Tony's injury is something that only time and rest can heal. But we can help speed up that timetable with a rehabilitation program specific to his injury and his profession."(JGR/True Speed Communication)(5-30-2006)

  • Stewart Sustains Fracture of Right Scapula: #20-Tony Stewart sustained a fracture of his right scapula in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series race when a flat right front tire sent his #20 Home Depot Chevy into the SAFER barrier on the outside retaining wall of turn one. Stewart was running in the 25th position when the accident happened on lap 33 of the 400-lap race. According to doctors at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, a CT scan revealed a minimally displaced fracture at the tip of the right scapula. Stewart is scheduled to meet with Joe Gibbs Racing's team physicians on Tuesday for further evaluation. An update on Stewart's condition will be provided following that evaluation.(True Speed Communication PR)(5-28-2006)

  • Stewart OK after Busch wreck at LMS: #20-Tony Stewart has been cleared to drive in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., after crashing in Saturday night's Carquest 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's. Stewart, driving for Kevin Harvick Inc., in the Carquest 300, spun in turn four and impacted the SAFER barrier on lap 10 of the 200-lap race. After being transported to the speedway's infield care center, he complained of discomfort in his right shoulder. As a result, NASCAR medical personnel dispatched Stewart to Carolinas Medical Center University for precautionary X-rays. Those X-rays proved negative.(True Speed Communication)(5-28-2006)

  • Stewart to sport POWERade scheme at Dover: #20-Tony Stewart will take on the infamous Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway on June 4, 2006 with a little extra power behind his ride and a little extra support for his charity. While Stewarts orange Chevrolet is recognized by NASCAR fans everywhere, the #20 will sport a different kind of orange in Dover after its decked out in custom POWERade Orange graphics to support the launch of the new, commemorative clutch bottle of the popular sports drink and to raise money for the Tony Stewart Foundation. Stewart will officially unveil the new racecar following the personal delivery of multiple cases of POWERade 32oz Orange to a Home Depot location in Atlanta on May 31st. As part of the initiative, POWERade is donating $100,000 to the Tony Stewart Foundation.(Coca-Cola/POWERade PR), see an image of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(5-26-2006)

  • Stewart-Yocum Radio Show: Sirius Satellite Radio, the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR starting in 2007, announced that two-time and reigning Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will host a live weekly talk show exclusively on Sirius. Debuting in January, Tony Stewart Live will air exclusively on Sirius' upcoming 24/7 NASCAR channel, providing Sirius listeners with the ultimate insider's perspective on auto racing.  The weekly, two-hour show will feature Stewart - who has never been shy about expressing his opinions in 27 years of racing - taking calls from listeners, talking with prominent guests and covering the spectrum of motorsports - from NASCAR to open-wheel racing and beyond.  Matt Yocum, who is a pit reporter for the NASCAR broadcasts on FOX/FX and NBC/TNT, will be Stewart's co-host on Tony Stewart Live. Preview editions of Tony Stewart Live, hosted by Stewart, will begin airing exclusively on Sirius in October 2006.  Stewart will also be featured in Sirius' NASCAR related marketing and advertising. Beginning next year, Sirius will be the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR, broadcasting all Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series races live on a specially created, 24/7 NASCAR channel. "It's an honor to be a part of Sirius and its commitment to NASCAR," said Stewart.  "Our show will allow us to speak with the fans on our terms, where we're free to talk about anything and everything, from racing and rock-and-roll to our travels across America.  It's a unique opportunity, and we plan to make the most of it." Click on www.sirius.com to listen to Sirius live, or to purchase a Sirius radio and subscription.(True Speed Communications PR)(5-20-2006)

  • Modified Tour team owner Curt Chase of Mansfield confirmed to The Courant Monday that defending Tony Stewart will attempt to qualify a second car for him for the New England 100 July 15th at New Hampshire International Speedway.(5-17-2006)

  • Stewart to field cars for Mopar All Star Showdown: Tony Stewart has entered six cars in Sunday's Mopar All Star Showdown at Concord Motorsport Park. He will field three cars in each of the divisions competing in 50-lap features USAC Sprints and USAC Midgets. Stewart's trio of drivers -- Josh Wise, Levi Jones and Kyle Nicholas will pull double-duty driving in both divisions. The midget feature on Sunday will be the second race of the 2006 season. While the USAC sprints will make their North Carolina asphalt debut, the midgets actually raced on the quarter-mile paved oval on the frontstretch at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1998. The winner of that race was Stewart. For more info and tickets, see MetrolinaBrand.com. Concord Motorsport Park is located on highway 601 north of Midland and south of Concord, NC.(PR)(5-16-2006)

  • Home Depot Store Represented at Talladega: Home Depot store #6901, located in East Brunswick, N.J., will be represented on the lower rear quarterpanel of the #20 Home Depot Chevy that Tony Stewart will drive during the Aaron's 499. Store #6901 was judged to be the outstanding store of the past week, thereby earning its place on the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine.[wich is done each week](True Speed Communications PR)(4-26-2006)

  • Stewart to the back...tire change UPDATE why?: #20-Stewart's team changed tires on his car, if you qualify in the top-10, you MUST start the race on the tires you qualified with, so Stewart goes to the back of the field before the start of the race at Phoenix.[MRN Radio](4-22-2006)
    UPDATE: Stewart qualified his #20 Home Depot Chevrolet third, but due to a miscommunication amongst the team, the tires with which Stewart posted that third-place qualifying time were taken to Goodyear and destroyed. Those tires needed to be on the car when Stewart began Saturday night's 312-lap affair, as NASCAR mandates that the top-10 qualifiers start the race on the tires with which they qualified. Since those tires weren't available to Stewart, NASCAR had no choice but to send Stewart to last-place in the 43-car field. Why were the tires destroyed? Due to the new-for-2006 tire leasing policy implemented by NASCAR and Goodyear, used tires from practice must be turned back into Goodyear. Those tires are then destroyed and later recycled so that teams can't stockpile used tires for future testing purposes. Stewart's qualifying tires were confused for a set of Stewart's practice tires, hence the reason his qualifying tires were unavailable and the subsequent penalty by NASCAR. "It was a fair judgment because we didn't start on the stuff that we qualified," said Stewart. "So we just didn't think about it much. We had to start 43rd and just be patient." Stewart finished 2nd at Phoenix.(JGR/True Speed Communication PR)(4-25-2006)

  • Tony will keep climbling: #20-Tony Stewart says he plans to continue his fence-climbing ways when he wins races. When he first scaled a catchfence after winning at Daytona in July 2005, the fans went wild. Since then, Stewart has turned the impulsive move into his own victory signature, pulling himself up some difficult wiring at tracks such as Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When he won at Martinsville Speedway Sunday, Stewart once more worked his way up the fencing onto the flagstand to the delight of the sellout crowd. "I wish everybody had the opportunity to be up there during something like that, because that is the coolest view to see people," he said. "No matter what kind of driver they're supporting, they're still cheering because they know that before you even celebrate with your race team, you're celebrating with them." So look for more of the Nextel Cup defending champion's flag-grabbing ways during future wins. "The response every time we've done that has been so overwhelming that that is part of [the] victory celebration," he said. "When I get that checkered flag first, that's part of what I look forward about winning races, celebrating with the fans like that."(SceneDaily.com)(4-4-2006)

  • Stewart wins at Martinsville: #20-Tony Stewart won the DIRECTV 500 at Martinsville Speedway, leading 288 or 500 laps for his first win of 2006, 25th of his career and first since Watkins Glen last August. #24-Jeff Gordon held on for 2nd, with #48-Jimmie Johnson 3rd, then #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a very beat up car and #5-Kyle Busch. The rest of the top-10 were #38-Sadler, #29-Harvick, #25-Vickers, #26-McMurray and #10-Riggs. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth was 7th as late as lap 493 when he lost his brakes on a restart and smacked the wall, finishing 24th and dropping to 3rd in points with #48-Johnson taking over the lead, leading #6-Martin by 59 points going into Texas next week. There were 16 cautions for 87 laps and 6 leaders with 12 lead changes. The race will re-air on Speed Channel, Thursday, April 6th at 4:00pm/et.
    Race Results on my Martinsville Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Martinsville page.
    Race Rundown: see my Martinsville Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(4-2-2006)

  • Stewart tests at Lakeland: #20-Tony Stewart tested at USA International Speedway at Lakeland, FL on March 21-22 in preparation for this weeks race at Martinsville Speedway.(Truespeed/JGR)(3-29-2006)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Takes Top Honors in Atlanta: Tony Stewart's pit crew captured the Checkers / Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge competition in Monday's rain-delayed NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season of rewarding pit crews, the unsung heroes in the Nextel Cup Series. The program awards $10,500 per week to the top pit crew. In addition, the pit crew with the most wins will be awarded a $105,000 bonus at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Stewart's #20 Home Depot Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road (322.141 seconds) during Monday's 500-mile race. The winning performance by the #20 crew lifted Stewart to a fifth-place finish. Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Jason Lee (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Ira-Jo Hussey (front-tire changer), Jody Fortson (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff Patterson (gasman), Brian Larson (catch can) and Scott Geerts (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa. The #20 crew, part of the Joe Gibbs Racing stable, snapped a three-race win streak by Hendrick Motorsports teams. The first two Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge wins of the season went to Jimmie Johnson's #48 crew. The round-three winner was the #5 crew for Kyle Busch. Daytona (2/19) Jimmie Johnson Team; California (2/26) Jimmie Johnson Team; Las Vegas (3/12) Kyle Busch Team; Atlanta (3/20) Tony Stewart Team.(DMF Communications PR)(3-22-2006)

  • Kyle and Stewart talk..again: Behind the Hauler Talk with Kyle Busch, #5 Kellogg's Chevy: Atlanta Motor Speedway:
    WHAT'S THE SITUATION BETWEEN YOU AND TONY STEWART RIGHT NOW?
    "I called him this week. We talked a little bit on the phone. It was a good conversation. A civil one. We just both talked about what I aggravated him with last week at Las Vegas and we both decided to elect on moving along and coming here to Atlanta and seeing how we can race out the rest of the year."
    WELL, WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
    "It's like he said. It wasn't quite 80 laps to go. It was more like 65. But I was holding him up a little bit. I was trying to preserve my race car and my position on the race track for the last pit stop. A lot of these guys say you don't race until after the last pit stop, but you'd rather come into the pits third for the last pit stop and have a chance to get out leading than come in eighth and only be able to get out third. So I was trying to preserve my position a little bit and try to get a better spot for my guys to have an easier job on pit road."
    DID TONY STEWART GIVE YOU ANY ADVICE THAT WAS HELPFUL?
    "Oh, just trying to discuss how to race and how you race the race track. You'll see this weekend that this place definitely won't be anywhere near what Las Vegas was. At this place, you've got so many different grooves. You can run all over this place. The race track is old and aged. You have to race the race track here. It's worse than Darlington almost. It's a pretty bad place where you're not going to see a whole lot of side-by-side and bumper-tagging."
    DOES TONY STEWART UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU'RE COMING FROM?
    "He did and he didn't. He had a sense of yeah, okay that makes sense. But still, I don't care. He's in his race car trying to run his race and I'm in my race car trying to run my race. Sometimes, conflicts connect and you have that."
    DID YOU COME AROUND TO HIS WAY OF THINKING OR DO YOU STILL BELIEVE THAT YOU WERE IN THE RIGHT?
    "There are a bunch of different scenerios. If you look at a 400 lap say at Dover, you're going to let people go for probably 300 laps or so and then in the last 100, you're not because you've got to plan yourself for your last pit stop. And then you've got to get out of the last pit stop and race to the end. It's different situations everywhere you go. I saw his point, but I also saw my point as well."
    DO YOU THINK YOU DID ANYTHING WRONG?
    "To answer your question in the fullest extent, I didn't do anything wrong. I was just racing my own race; racing my own race car."
    WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH TONY STEWART RIGHT NOW..ON THE TRACK?
    "On the track? Probably not very good. But as far as off the race track, once he takes his helmet off, he's a completely different person. You're able to talk to him and be receptive of him. It's good to be able to have that relationship off the race track, I guess."(in part from the GM Racing PR)(3-17-2006)

  • Stewart on Whips:· Wednesday, March 15 - Unique Whips (10 p.m. ET) & Speed Channel's popular celebrity car customizing show, Unique Whips, takes on NASCAR as Will Castro and his team get a pair of special projects from NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champ Tony Stewart - including a Cadillac hearse, airs Wednesday, March 15 at 10:00pm/et.(SC), see TV Listing page for other air dates/times.(3-14-2006)

  • Stewart and Kyle Busch settle: - Kyle Busch said he and Tony Stewart hashed out their differences last weekend prior to the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Stewart had criticized Busch's driving ability after the Daytona 500. Busch said Saturday prior to qualifying for the Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200 that he and Stewart have cleared the air. "I was able to talk with him and get it over with and get it behind both of us," Busch said. "We were able to race against each other a little bit on Sunday and gave each other plenty of room, which was cool. We waved and said, 'Thank you' as we were passing each other. ... There's plenty more times throughout the year where I know we'll be racing and hopefully we can just keep it the way we did Sunday."(SceneDaily.com)(3-5-2006)

  • Kenseth and Stewart...still no speak UPDATE speak: #17-Matt Kenseth says he has yet to hear from #20-Tony Stewart about last weekend's incident in the Daytona 500 that sent Kenseth into the wall. "I'm sure we'll talk eventually," Kenseth said Friday at California Speedway. "I don't feel like I need to go talk to him because I didn't feel I was in the wrong at all. Obviously, he does, but I don't feel like I did anything wrong." Stewart ran Kenseth into the grass in turn 3 last weekend. That came after Stewart said Kenseth nearly caused him to spin by taking the air off his spoiler earlier in the race. "He started the whole thing, and I finished it," Stewart said after last week's race. NASCAR penalized Stewart for aggressive driving after Kenseth hit the wall. Stewart had to restart at the rear of the field. Series officials did not talk to Stewart about his post-race comments this week and didn't plan to talk to him this weekend. Kenseth admits the incident has been difficult to forget. Kenseth ran well until the incident. He finished 15th; Stewart placed fifth.(Roanoke Times)(2-25-2006)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart has had a busy weekend even before starting today's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at California Speedway. Stewart said he talked to Matt Kenseth about last week's incident at Daytona this weekend and spoke with Kyle Busch for about 90 minutes Friday night. Stewart was one of a few drivers who complained about Busch's aggressive driving at Daytona. Stewart was upset with Kenseth at Daytona after Stewart nearly spun while running underneath Kenseth. Later, Stewart ran Kenseth down the track and into the grass. Kenseth spun back up the track and hit the turn-3 wall. Stewart declined to reveal details of that conversation. "What we talk about is between Matt and me," Stewart said.(Roanoke Times)(2-26-2006)

  • Bump Drafting Issue Resurfaces UPDATE NASCAR draws line on bump-drafting: Even though he finished a respectable third in the 72-lap exhibition sprint, defending Nextel Cup champion #20-Tony Stewart was livid afterward. Stewart had just finished a race that saw he and the 20 other contestants narrowly dodge, only by good fortune and luck, major accidents at the sprawling 2½-mile track. The reason for Stewart's ire was the bump drafting, which entails intentionally slamming into the car in front of you. The purpose is actually to push the next car along  and some drivers assert it's a necessary move  but do it at the wrong time or at the wrong angle, and wrecks easily can ensue. And wrecks at restrictor plate tracks have the potential to be especially brutal. Really, bump drafting isn't drafting at all. It's legalized road rage  legal, at least, in NASCAR terms. There are laws prohibiting this obviously unsafe maneuver on highways, so why aren't existing rules in NASCAR's books against unsafe or overaggressive driving being enforced when it comes to bump drafting? NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter said after Sunday's race that the sanctioning body has tried to come up with different ways to, at the very least, control bump drafting. But, Hunter noted, sanctioning body officials have to be cautious to make major changes in one area, lest they unwittingly compromise safety in yet another area. Hunter says NASCAR has explored "softening up" front bumpers on cars so that there will be less resulting impact and damage  and thus less chance for a car being knocked out of control  when bump drafting occurs. Again, laudable, but not entirely realistic. Hunter also said NASCAR is reluctant to simply penalize every driver that bump drafts, as some of the allegedly guilty might actually be victims of circumstance, such as being unable to avoid impact when a car in front suddenly checks up.(Yahoo Sports)(2-13-2006)
    UPDATE NASCAR draws line on bump-drafting: NASCAR will post additional officials in the turns at Daytona International Speedway to monitor the act of bump-drafting between cars on the track, according to Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition for the sanctioning body. And left up to make the call, he said Tuesday, officials could penalize drivers for such contact. Pemberton said the officials would begin monitoring the situation beginning with Thursday's Gatorade Duals, twin 150-mile qualifying races that will set the remainder of the field for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500. "I think what we are going to do over the week as the races unfold," Pemberton said, "we may have some zones that we post added officials in where me might be forced to make a call of a bump draft that is unnecessary. The straightaways, obviously, don't appear to be a problem. But we're working on it. We've talked to the competitors about the problem and we may be put in the position that we have to make some calls that we really don't want to make."
    The act of bump-drafting occurs when a driver makes contact with his and another vehicle in front of him on the race track with the front bumper of his car. The "hit" is normally used to push the car in front past a car beside it. The practice has become fairly common at Daytona and Talladega, however, following Sunday's Budweiser Shootout, defending series champion Tony Stewart said the act of bump drafting could lead to another death at the 2.5-mile track. As far as penalties are concerned, Pemberton said it could be "a pass through as far as coming down pit road. It could be anything. ... This is a serious matter. "Everybody has to remember, we don't drive these things. The drivers are in control, they have the pedals they can push and the steering wheel they can turn. To leave it in our hands when we're not out there ... they may get a call that they didn't bargain for."(NASCAR Scene)(2-14-2006)

  • Stewart wins Driver of the Year Award: While Tony Stewart achieved many goals on the way to his second NASCAR Nextel Cup series championship he also earned one of the most coveted titles in auto racing as he was voted the Speed Channel Driver of the Year presented by Gillette M3 Power by a wide margin. Stewart, who was born and resides in Indiana, won the Allstate 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and totaled five wins and two poles winning the vote in the third quarter. Its an honor to be named Driver of the Year, said Stewart. Its something I take a lot of pride in, especially since one of the guys Ive always looked up to in racing  A.J. Foyt  won this award back in 1975. Although all of his wins came in his torrid third quarter Stewart consistently maintained his points lead in the Chase for the Cup as the series drew to a close, in November, at the Homestead Miami Speedway. A humble Stewart added and while this award recognizes the driver, I want to recognize my team  Joe Gibbs Racing. Their hard work, knowledge and never-ending support allowed us to win a second championship. I couldnt have done it without them. Professionals, who voted - in a secret ballot - for a single driver, gave Stewart 12 votes out the 17 cast. He also won the fan vote. Indy 500 winner, and IndyCar Series Champion, Dan Wheldon, scored three votes and the NHRAs Tony Schumacher, and World of Outlaws, Steve Kinser tallied one vote apiece. There were almost 20,000 votes on the www.speedtv.com website. Stewart counted 10, 210 votes, while Champ Car titlist, winner of an IROC race, Sebastien Bourdais, garnered3,463 votes. Third place, Wheldon, winner of Driver of the Year for the second quarter took 2,423 votes. In its 40th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. completed a secret ballot and and a fan vote on Speedtv.com combined to determine the winner. Stewart received a trophy, a custom made motorcycle and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch which was presented on Speed TV. President of the Speed Channel Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.(Speed Channel)(2-13-2006)

  • Timken teams up with JGR: The Timken Company announced that it has entered into an agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) to become an official technical partner of the NASCAR racing organization. The partnership, which provides product development and technical engineering support, will be leveraged across JGR's multiple team operations in the Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series. For the last two years, Timken has worked collaboratively with the JGR engineering team to develop and test technologies that improve the car's powertrain performance, delivering longer life, improved fuel economy and higher horsepower availability. Products like specialty steels from the company's Latrobe, Pa., operations and Timken RacePac, an integrated hub and bearing assembly specially designed for NASCAR teams, demonstrate an ongoing commitment to safety, reliability and high performance for the motorsports industry.(Timken PR)(2-8-2006)

  • Stewart: Rib might be cracked: Tony Stewart said Friday that his ribs are hurting more than his arm, two weeks after his accident in his Midget car at the Chili Bowl. Stewart said he likely has a cracked rib, but it did not shown up on X-rays taken after his Jan. 13 accident in the race in Tulsa, where he flipped his car. Stewart talked about his injuries before he had a chance to practice for the Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway. The race begins at noon Saturday, and Stewart is teamed with road racing aces Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace. The team will start the race 21st. "It's actually my ribs that are bothering me," Stewart said. "The arm is fine. The arm is back to 100 percent. The ribs, there is really nothing you can do but rest and relax. That's what we've done from the time it happened until now. We just tried to rest as much as possible and give it time to heal. It's going to be a painful weekend, I'm sure. The good thing about adrenaline is that adrenaline will mask a lot of that and we will get through 24 hours no problem." Stewart said the X-rays on his ribs were inconclusive. "[The doctor] is pretty confident that there is a crack somewhere they couldn't find," Stewart said. "I'm not a doctor and don't understand this stuff, but he said if I came back two days later, he would probably be able to see it better. He said there's no point in coming back and verifying that because there's nothing they can do anyway. It's just painful." The injured ribs will hurt him more driving on a road course rather than when he tests Monday and Tuesday in his Nextel Cup car at Las Vegas, Stewart said. "The hard thing is we're doing it back-to-back for four straight days," Stewart said.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-28-2006)

  • Stewart and team visit President Bush: #20-Tony Stewart has had such a successful racing career that he's becoming a regular at the White House. Stewart said President Bush recalled his two previous visits to the Oval Office -- one for his first Cup championship and another with other top drivers -- when he came in for a third Tuesday. "It's a real big honor to be able to come here and have the president remember you," Stewart told reporters as he left the West Wing. "He said, `I'd like to see you back here next year.' So I'm definitely on his side on that. I would love to come back here next year as a champion again." Stewart's entire team was included in the meeting. Stewart gave Bush a team driving suit, and Bush checked out the car parked outside. Joe Gibbs, owner of the team and coach of the Washington Redskins, said Bush was joking with all the guys. It got so chummy that one team member gave the president a sporty pat on the rear and told him he is doing a good job, Gibbs said. "I was talking to Tony, and I said, `Who would believe that eight years ago when I was talking to you on this ramp at this little airport and we were trying to get together racing, we'd wind up at the White House?"' Gibbs said. "So, it's a big thrill for all of us."(ESPN.com/AP)(1-25-2006)

  • NMPA names Stewart DotY: #20-Tony Stewart, winner of the 2005 Nextel Cup title, added another award to his five-win season Sunday when he was named the National Motorsports Press Association's Richard Petty Driver of the Year. Stewart is the 11th driver to win the award, established in 1969, more than once. He also won it after his first Cup championship in 2002. Stewart did not attend Sunday's luncheon in the NMPA's annual convention in Charlotte, where the award was announced. He accepted via a videotaped message, saying he had a commitment at a charity snowmobile ride hosted by his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli.(Thatsracin)(1-23-2006)

  • Stewart Cleared to Race: #20-Tony Stewart got clearance Monday to drive in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona as well as the test session at the end of the month at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway following two separate flips last week in a U.S. Auto Club Midget race. Stewart left a Tulsa, Okla., hospital last Friday with his right arm in a cast, but doctors said there were no serious injuries during a follow-up visit on Monday, team president J.D. Gibbs said. "Everything checked out fine," Gibbs said. "We told him he's still driving in the Daytona 500 even if his arm was broken." Stewart was participating in the Chili Bowl, one of the premier Midget races of the team. Job Gibbs Racing teammate J.J. Yeley and Evernham Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne also participated in the race. Stewart flipped and crashed on Thursday during a heat race. He wasn't injured in that accident, Gibbs said, but he struck his right arm on the shifter when he flipped again on Friday. "The reality of it is, when he first started with us he did way more (races) than what he's doing now," Gibbs said. Gibbs said the race team has restricted Stewart from some of his outside races in the past, but the defending Nextel Cup Series champion has reduced his schedule in the past couple years. "For him to go back to the local tracks where he started, we think it's all right," Gibbs said. "He enjoys that."(Athens Banner-Herald)(1-17-2006)

  • Stewart flips again, Kruseman wins at Chili Bowl UPDATE Stewart is OK: Two-time Chili Bowl king Cory Kruseman outlasted P.J. Jones and a host of other challengers in Friday nights hotly-contested 25-lap Warren CAT Qualifying night feature at Tulsa Expo Raceways 20th Annual OReilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Friday nights feature was loaded with talent, it didnt include NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart. Stewart, who scratched from Wednesdays card after a flip in hot laps, flipped wildly down the backstretch in his Friday night qualifying race after a heat race win. Shaken, the 2002 Chili Bowl winner was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released. No word on any injuries. More info on the Chili Bowl at www.chilibowl.com or racinboys.com. Besides Stewart, other NASCAR drivers scheduled to be running some races there include Kasey Kahne, J.J. Yeley, Jason Leffler, Tracy Hines, Aaron Fike, A.J. Fike, P.J. Jones, Justin Allgaier and Damon Lusk.
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart, the reigning champion in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, was taken to a local hospital for a preliminary examination after he flipped his Midget car in the opening laps of last night's qualifying race for the 20th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway. Complaining of pain in his right arm after the crash, Stewart was taken to the hospital where X-rays revealed no broken bones and a CT scan proved negative. In a precautionary measure, Stewart was fitted with a cast until a more extensive evaluation can be made by his own doctors on Monday. "I'm a little sore," said Stewart. "The doctors were great and did a pretty thorough evaluation of me. They didn't find anything broken, but just to be sure, they fitted me with a cast that I'll wear until I meet with my doctors on Monday. It looks a lot worse than it is. "In no way should this affect my upcoming test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, my plans to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona or my participation in Daytona Speedweeks."(True Speed Communication)(1-14-2006)

  • Stewart skips Daytona testing: Considering Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's dramatic Daytona victory in July, it's not surprising he's blowing off testing there this week to concentrate on competing in the 20th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. Smoke won the Chili Bowl title in 2002 and this year will face an expected field of 270 competitors, including Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski and Kasey Kahne. As happened last year, Mike McLaughlin will fill in for Stewart in the #20 Chevrolet during testing.(Sporting News)(1-9-2006)

  • Stewart hands out awards at Eldora: Eldora Speedway capped the 2005 racing season with its awards banquet on Sunday by awarding nearly 100 trophies to drivers and car owners at the Eldora Ballroom. Track owner and Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart was on hand to help hand out the hardware, including points championships to Aaron Scott (Late Models), Scott Orr (Modifieds) Chad Kemenah (Sprints) and Mike Dirksen (Stock Car). Eldora also honored Sunoco American Late Model Series champion Brian Ruhlman and the series drivers.(Daytona Daily News)(1-9-2006)

  • Stewart..Hockey Coach: Tony Stewart will add another accomplishment Jan. 6 to his impressive career resume  hockey coach. Stewart, a native and resident of Columbus, Ind., will serve as Honorary Assistant Coach of the Indiana Ice against the Sioux Falls Stampede on Friday, Jan. 6 at the Pepsi Coliseum, located at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Game time is 7:00pm. The Ice will announce lucky rows throughout the game, and fans seated in those rows will have the opportunity to meet reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Stewart and get an autograph. The Tony Stewart Foundation, which supports numerous local and national youth-focused charitable causes, will benefit from the game as the Ice will pledge $2 from every ticket sold to the Foundation. In addition, the Ice will raffle two collectible jerseys during the game, and the winners will meet Stewart and get an autograph. A silent auction also will take place, with proceeds going to the Tony Stewart Foundation. Ive been a big fan of hockey since I attended a Dallas Stars game in Texas several years ago, but having the opportunity to support my hometown team and sit right on the ice will be a very cool experience, Stewart said. Im looking forward to greeting the fans and the Ice players, and my thanks go to the whole organization for supporting the Tony Stewart Foundation. J.D. Byrider, a longtime Stewart backer, is sponsoring the night. More info at indianaice.com.(PR)(1-5-2006)

2005 News

  • Stewart wins at Fort Wayne: Tony Stewart won the USAC midget competition at Fort Wayne's Allen County Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. Dave Darland was second across the finish line, followed by Matt Estep. Stewart, who finished 11th in Thursday's race, was the fast qualifier in both races.(Indianapolis Star)
    AND NASCAR star Tony Stewart closed the U.S. Auto Club's 50th season of racing with a victory in a 60-lap midget feature race at the "Rumble in Fort Wayne." Stewart, the reigning Nextel Cup champion, started eighth and took the lead on the seventh lap, staying in front until the end. He has won at least one USAC race each year since 1991 except in 1999, when he was the NASCAR Cup rookie of the year. "I'm going to say this because I know my fans like my brutal honesty," Stewart told the crowd after his victory. "Every year, all the competitors go out to the bar and try to get me drunk so I can't run the next day. It didn't work this time." Stewart also raced in Fort Wayne on Thursday night, finishing 11th in a 60-lap feature race after crashing.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-31-2005)

  • Stewart honored by U.S. House of Representatives: on Wednesday [12/14], the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution from U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel of Indiana recognizing #20-Tony Stewart for his 2005 Nextel Cup championship. Sodrel, who sponsored the resolution, was joined by other members of the Indiana delegation  Reps. Mike Pence, Dan Burton, Mark Soder, John Hostettler and Julia Carson  as co-sponsors. House Resolution 587 passed unanimously. Sodrel represents Indianas 9th Congressional District, which includes Stewarts hometown  and current residence  of Columbus. I am proud to honor Mr. Tony Stewart for all of his accomplishments in NASCAR and the world of motorsports by bringing this resolution to the floor of the House of Representatives, Sodrel said. Hoosiers and racing fans around the world are proud of Tony and his team and we look forward to his continued success. The resolution cites Stewart for his five 2005 wins, his two series titles in seven seasons, his eight other auto racing championships, his top-10 ranking in each of his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup seasons and particularly his Aug. 7 victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard). Following that win, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels awarded Stewart the states highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash, on Aug. 29.(NASCAR PR)(12-15-2005)

  • Stewart to drive midget car race: Tony Stewart will drive in a pair of U.S. Auto Club indoor midget car races at Fort Wayne, IN, where he won a 60-lap feature a year ago under an assumed name in an old junker he bought during a poker game the night before. It wasn't until Stewart pulled into Victory Lane and took off his helmet that the race announcer and fans recognized him -- and became extremely excited. "It was just a kind of a joke," USAC spokesman Dick Jordan said Tuesday. "They didn't do any advance publicity on him, because he wasn't sure he was going to run. ... This time he's allowing the promoter to advertise the fact he's coming." The Dec. 29-30 "Rumble in Fort Wayne" will be USAC's final races of the year. Stewart has won 52 USAC features and in 1995 swept all three series championships -- Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown. He also has won at least one USAC race each year since 1991 except 1999, when he was the NASCAR Cup rookie of the year.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-14-2005)

  • Stewart visits GM Plant: Tony Stewart, the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion, visited the GM Arlington Assembly Plant this afternoon to help build a 2007 Chevy Tahoe. Stewart visited the Texas plant to perform several jobs in the general assembly process and meet with GM employees that work on the various lines. Plans are in development for the final Tahoe that Stewart drives off the line be used at several promotional events and eventually be auctioned off for charity. Stewart's visit to the plant today helped kick off Arlington production of the 2007 Chevy Tahoe. The new Tahoe will be available in dealer showrooms beginning in January.(GM Racing PR)(12-14-2005)

  • NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion sets single season winnings record: NEW YORK (Dec. 2, 2005)  NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Tony Stewart (#20 The Home Depot Chevrolet) will collect $6,173,633 in point fund awards  a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point fund award record  along with special awards totaling $517,000. The post-season payouts bring his 2005 season total to $13,578,168, the largest single-season total in NASCAR history. Stewarts take exceeds the previous single-season record, $10,979,757, set by Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevrolet) in 2001. Stewarts career winnings now total $48,467,449, making him the fifth-highest money winner on NASCARs all-time list. Over $25 million in point fund awards will be distributed to the top 25 drivers in the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings. Runner-up Greg Biffle (#16 National Guard Ford) will receive over $2.62 million in point fund awards, bringing his season total to over $8.35 million. With over $6.7 million in race winnings this season, fifth-place Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowes Chevrolet) was the seasons next-highest money winner. Johnson will receive $20,000 in post-season special awards and more than $1.7 million from the point fund, for a 2005 season total of over $8.33 million.(NASCAR PR), see full winnings for top-25 on my 2005 Nextel Cup Banquet, News, Winnings page.(12-2-2005)

  • Stewart to get in shape: Tony Stewart went on a shopping spree last week that he hopes will lead to a new and improved Nextel Cup champion. "I went out and bought $17,000 worth of exercise equipment for my house," Stewart said Wednesday as he prepared for yet another of the dozens of media events this week in New York, leading up to Friday night's NASCAR awards ceremony at which he will collect checks for more than $5.8 million. The 5-foot-9 Stewart, who probably weighs at least 20 pounds more than the 185 listed in the NASCAR media guide, admittedly loves fast food and has often made himself the brunt of his own jokes about how out of shape he is. "I'm going to get in shape for next year," Stewart said Wednesday. "I've got to. As you get older, your body changes and I can't do the kind of things I used to do, like eat three cheeseburgers on my way home and then eat dinner an hour later. I'm tired of puffing and panting when I climb up two flights of stairs. I've got to start taking better care of myself." The first step, he said, will be getting together with a nutritionist to talk about diet. "Then all I need to do is stay away from the McDonald's drive-up window and not use all that new equipment to hang my clothes on," Stewart said, grinning.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-1-2005)

  • Nextel Cup Banquet Info and Stewart Appearance Schedule in NYC:
    Monday, Nov. 28 & Tony Stewart begins his week with two memorable photo shoots, beginning at 11:30am Hell visit two famous New York City locations, the Top of the Rock observation deck on the 70th floor of Rockefeller Center and the distinctive Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets& Fox News Channel Dayside interview at 1:00pm/et.
    Tuesday, Nov. 29 & Satellite media tour from 10:15am  12:15pm/et. & Visit to Staten Island Hospital Pediatric Burn Unit at 1pm/et. & Visit to FDNY Fire Academy at 3pm/et. & Appearance on MRN Radios NASCAR Live talk show at 7pm/et.
    AND Whats on tap Tuesday for the champion & Tony Stewart will open day two of Champions Week with a Satellite Media Tour featuring several West Coast news stations. Heres the rest of his Tuesday schedule:
    " Stewart will join Brian Vickers, Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson at the Staten Island University Hospital to visit with children in the Pediatric Burn Unit. The drivers will then make an appearance at The Vanderbilt hotel for a fan event.
    " Later in the afternoon, Stewart will visit the Fire Department New York Fire Academy on Randals Island in Manhattan. Stewart will spend time with FDNY personnel and take part in various training exercises.
    Wednesday, Nov. 30 & NBC Today Show appearance at 8:30am to kick off NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Victory Lap presented by Sprint & Victory Lap departs from NBC Today Show Plaza at 9am The procession will wind across town and arrive at 375 Park Avenue, the site of NASCARs New York office.
    Thursday, Dec. 1 & New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) opening at 8:45am, attended by the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top-10 drivers, Sprint Nextel Chairman Tim Donahue and NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne & NASCAR Press Conference and luncheon at Cipriani, beginning at 11am & NASCAR Champions photo, featuring Stewart and all of the other 2005 NASCAR series champions, 1:30pm/et. at Cipriani & Times Square photo shoot at 3pm/et. & Visit to Ronald McDonald House at 4:30pm/et. & Stewart will also pay a visit to the NASCAR champions dinner to honor the regional touring series and NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series champions, at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel at 7:15pm/et.
    Friday, Dec. 2 & National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) / Myers Brothers Breakfast presented by Sunoco, in The Waldorf-Astoria hotel at 8:45am & Photo shoot on Park Avenue at 3:45pm/et. & NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony doors open and Yellow Carpet festivities begin at 6pm/et. & Champions Red Carpet arrival at 6:40pm/et. & NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony in The Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom at 7pm/et.
    Tune in & NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite Radio will broadcast live from The Waldorf-Astoria, next Monday-Friday at 4pm/et. (ET). Host Claire B. Lang will report on each days events and feature exclusive interviews with the Top-10 drivers and other personalities. & MRN Radio will also broadcast live from New York, including an interview with Stewart on Tuesday and live coverage of the awards ceremony on Friday. & SPEED Channel will air a special NASCAR Takes Manhattan show live, beginning at 7pm/et. on Friday. Marketing blitz & The awards ceremony is the culmination of the season for NASCARs top drivers, as well as an annual gathering for the sports marketers and media personalities. Sprint Nextel plans a massive marketing campaign throughout the city, including its interactive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Pit Stop Tour, show car displays and other fan events. There will be a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series display each day at the NBC Experience Store at Rockefeller Plaza, along with a driver autograph session there Wednesday afternoon. The annual Street & Smiths Motorsports Marketing Forum will be held Wednesday at the New York Marriott East Side, featuring several NASCAR executives and top drivers in a panel discussion on marketing trends and other industry issues.
    France to be honored at March of Dimes luncheon & NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France will attend the 22nd annual Greater New York March of Dimes luncheon at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel on Wednesday, where hell be recognized with the organizations Sports Leadership Award. Other honorees include Barry Frank Sr., Corporate Vice President, IMG and Vice Chairman, TWI, who will receive the Corporate Leadership Award; U.S. Women's Soccer stars Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly and Joy Fawcett, who will be recognized as Sportswomen of the Year; and Willie Randolph, manager of the New York Mets, as Sportsman of the Year.
    Fast Facts
    What: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony Where: Grand Ballroom, The Waldorf-Astoria hotel New York City. When: 7-10:30pm/et, Friday, Dec. 2.
    TV: TNT, 9pm/et/pt
    Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
    NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: 1. Tony Stewart 6,533. 2. Greg Biffle 6,498. 3. Carl Edwards 6,498. 4. Mark Martin 6,428. 5. Jimmie Johnson 6,406. 6. Ryan Newman 6,359. 7. Matt Kenseth 6,352. 8. Rusty Wallace 6,140. 9. Jeremy Mayfield 6,073. 10. Kurt Busch 5,974.
    11th-place driver: Jeff Gordon
    Raybestos Rookie of the Year: Kyle Busch
    Special Guest: Comedian Jay Mohr
    Musical Entertainment: Singers Toni Braxton and Gavin DeGraw; Jazz pianist Eric Lewis.(NASCAR PR)(11-25-2005)

  • Parade for Stewart UPDATE 2 Postponed: Tony Stewart's hometown will hold a parade next month to honor him for winning the NASCAR series championship. The parade is planned for Dec. 17, starting at 2:20pm from the Hamilton Center Ice Arena and ending at Columbus [IN] North High School. It would be the second parade in Columbus for Stewart in four months. On Aug. 15, he was recognized for his win in the Allstate 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Judy Jackson, the city's community development director, said Monday that Dec. 17 was the earliest date Stewart was available for the parade.(Fort Wayne Sentinel/AP)(11-22-2005)
    POSTPONED: Columbus, IN: Mayor Fred L. Armstrong says that due to Tony Stewarts busy scheduled, a celebration will NOT be held on December 16 and 17. City officials are currently working with Stewart representatives to find a date and time that will accommodate Tonys busy schedule. As soon as plans are finalized, complete information will be released to the media.(columbus.in.gov)(11-24-2005)
    UPDATE 2: A parade to honor NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in his hometown has been called off because a conflict with his schedule, and city leaders are now planning for a two-day celebration sometime in January. The parade was scheduled for Dec. 17. The dates for the new celebration has not yet been set. The January celebration might include fireworks and a hog roast, said Lynn Lucas, director of the Columbus Visitors Center. "The economic impact of all this will be tremendous," she said. "This is an opportunity, and we want to take advantage of it. She said they hope to attract thousands of Stewart fans to the event, including some from out of town. "We're talking about 6,000," she said. "Some of them could be coming in for two nights, and that means they'll need a hotel." Stewart won his second NASCAR championship in four years Sunday, beating Greg Biffle by 35 points in the Nextel Cup standings. Columbus held a parade for Stewart in August to celebrate his victory in the Allstate 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. An estimated crowd of 5,000 lined downtown streets in the city about 40 miles south of Indianapolis. "Tony is from the city of Columbus, and that should be celebrated," Mayor Fred Armstrong said. "We need to recognize our citizens."(Indianapolis Star/AP)(11-26-2005)

  • Stewart Visits ESPN: Tony Stewart, who won the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship on Sunday, visited ESPNs Bristol, Ct. headquarters Tuesday (Nov. 22) when he communicated with his fans via several ESPN media platforms. Stewart, a two-time NASCAR champion (2002), arrived at noon, was interviewed live on ESPN Radios The Herd with Colin Cowherd, taped a segment for tonights GameNight on ESPN Radio, chatted with ESPN.com users (more than 1,500 users e-mailed questions), and taped segments for SportsCenter and ESPNEWS.(11-23-2005)

  • 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion: Tony Stewart:
    " Tony Stewart won the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship in the 57th season of NASCARs premier series.
    " This is Stewarts second title in the seven seasons that he has competed in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Stewart was also the Series champion in 2002.
    " Stewart has ranked in the top 10 every season since his 1999 rookie year and has never ranked lower than seventh in the final point standings.
    " Stewart posted three Bud Poles, five victories, 17 top-fives and 25 top-10 finishes this season.
    " This is Joe Gibbs third championship as a car owner. Bobby Labonte won for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2000 and Stewart in 2002. Gibbs has fielded at least one full-time team since 1992.
    " This is also the second championship for crew chief Greg Zipadelli, both with Stewart. Zipadelli has been a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Crew Chief for seven seasons, all with Stewart and Gibbs.
    " There have been 27 different champions Stewart is the 14th different driver to win multiple championships.
    " Stewart was the 1999 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year. He became the eighth Rookie-of-the-Year to subsequently win a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship.
    " Stewart started the season at Daytona in sixth place after leading the most laps en route to a seventh-place finish. He struggled for the next 13 races, finishing in the top 10 only five times but also finishing 24th or worse five times. He then finished second in the June Michigan race, beginning a 13-race streak of consecutive top 10 finishes that ran through Loudon in September. During the 13 races, he scored five victories and 10 top fives. His Brickyard 400 victory propelled him to first place in the point standings for the first time in 2005. He held the top position following all but one of the final 15 races.
    " His biggest point lead was 213 points following second Bristol. His smallest lead was when he was tied with Jimmie Johnson in points scored after the second Charlotte race.
    " Stewart started the Chase in first place by five points over Greg Biffle, 15 ahead of Johnson. Stewart led the standings after nine of the 10 Chase races (all but Dover when he fell to fifth after an 18th place finish).
    " This is the 22nd time in 57 seasons a Chevrolet driver has won the championship; the first since 2001.
    " Stewarts other championships:
    2001 World of Outlaws (Car Owner)
    1997 Indy Racing League (IRL)
    1995 USAC Midget; USAC Sprint Cars; USAC Silver Crown
    1994 USAC Midget
    1987 World Karting Association National Title
    1983 International Karting Foundation Grand National
    Stewart is 34 years old (5/20/71); Zipadelli is 38 years old (4/21/67); Gibbs is 64 years old (11/25/40).(NASCAR Statistical Services)(11-21-2005)

  • Nice Gesture: #45-Kyle Petty's wife Pattie gave Stewart a lucky charm from her late son Adam with the inscription John 3:16 on Sunday morning. Stewart had it in his pocket all day.(Yahoo Sports)(11-21-2005)

  • Stewart clinches Gatorback Championship The race season isn't over quite yet, but #20-Tony Stewart has already clinched one championship. Stewart has put enough distance between himself and the remainder of the field to capture the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Championship prior to this weekend's season-ending race at Homestead, Fla. The Gatorback award, sponsored by Goodyear Engineered Products, goes each week to a driver posting the fastest lap while leading a Nextel Cup race. At the end of the season, the driver compiling the most fastest laps is declared the Gatorback champion for the season. Stewart, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, will receive the 2005 Gatorback Fastest Lap solid crystal trophy, along with check for $75,000, at the season-ending NASCAR banquet at New York in December. Stewart has dominated the Nextel Cup field by posting eight fastest laps this season. His closest challenge came from rival #16-Greg Biffle, who has recorded five fastest laps. With one race to go, Stewart is out of reach of the competition. Gatorback Poly-V belts were introduced at the 2002 Daytona 500 on rookie Cup driver Jimmie Johnson's pole-sitting racecar. Today, every Nextel Cup car uses the same straight-off-the-shelf belts that race fans can purchase from auto parts stores and installers. Goodyear has supplied belts to NASCAR for 24-years and is the exclusive NASCAR Performance licensee of automotive aftermarket belts and hose. For more information, visit goodyearbeltsandhose.com.(Goodyear PR)(11-15-2005)

  • ESPN: In NASCAR, attention to detail is a must. Details like analyzing every aspect of a pit stop. And washing every inch of the hauler. As the 2005 season rolls to an end, E-ticket spent a week with Tony Stewart's Home Dept team, unveiling the 20/20 foresight it takes to bring home the Nextel Cup, see more at ESPN.com - 20/20 : The End is the Beginning

  • Tony gets a bridge at TMS: Texas Motor Speedway christened a new pedestrian bridge over its south infield tunnel as "Tony Stewart Bridge." The 2002 champion had been lobbying TMS President Eddie Gossage for the upgrade since nearly missing a drivers' meeting in 2004 when the Budweiser Clydsedales blocked the tunnel. Stewart owns Eldora Speedway in Ohio and has promised to return the favor by renaming his track's infield tunnel after Gossage.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-6-2005)

  • New Goody's Commericals with Stewart: Goody's Headache Powders previewed its new commercials titled "Mr. Petty's Neighborhood" on Friday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In the new spots, Richard Petty welcomes driver Tony Stewart, knocking on his door bearing a casserole from his wife, Linda. As one might expect, everything happens fast in Goody's Country, which Petty explains to the new resident Stewart. "Tony Stewart joining Goody's just makes so much sense," said Darren Singer, vice president of marketing for Goody's. Stewart answered snickers from the audience by saying, "I know what you guys are thinking. Don't worry, that's what I was thinking, too." The new commercials were filmed on Hickswood Drive in Greensboro, N.C. Singer said residents allowed their homes and streets to be used for the two days of shooting and even brought out their lawn chairs to watch the events. The Pettys and Stewart chatted with them and signed autographs - and definitely left their mark. Goody's has been associated with NASCAR and the Petty family for 30 years. The company was an early and major contributor to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Stewart also is a major contributor to the camp for children with life-threatening conditions. Goody's also presented a check for $25,000 on behalf of the Tony Stewart Foundation for the Victory Junction Gang.(PR)(10-29-2005)

  • Goody's unveils new ad campaign geared toward NASCAR: NASCAR legend Richard Petty has been a long-time resident of Goody's Country, serving as the Goody's Headache Powders spokesperson for nearly 30 years. Tony Stewart has joined Petty and his son Kyle in a new advertising campaign for the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR" that includes a commercial depicting the day Stewart moves into "Mr. Petty's Neighborhood" and his appreciation for the speedy pace of life there. The first screening of the commercial will be during a press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, Oct. 28. Also at this event, as part of its continued support of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Goody's will present a check for $25,000 in Stewart's name to Kyle and Pattie Petty for their camp for seriously ill children and their families.(Williams Company PR)(10-27-2005)

  • #20 to sport Tools scheme at Martinsville: Tony Stewart will special paint scheme on the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet at the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway featuring new Lithium-Ion cordless power tools that deliver the longest-lasting power available on the market. The gray, orange and white paint scheme features Lithium-Ion power tool lines on the rear corner panels and deck lid of the vehicle. Available exclusively at The Home Depot, the innovative tools from Makita U.S.A. and Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation operate with breakthrough Lithium-Ion technology which will run up to twice as long as leading cordless 18 volts per charge. The tools will be available in all The Home Depot stores in the United States starting in November. The new power tool lines include a Milwaukee V28, four-piece Cordless Combo Kit and Makita 18V LXT, four-piece Cordless Combo Kit, 18V LXT Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill Kit and 18V LXT Cordless Impact Driver Kit.(True Speed/Home Depot PR), see image on my #20 Team Schemes page.(10-18-2005)

  • Tony Stewart Concert does well: Tony Stewart held his 2nd annual Tony Stewart Foundation Benefit Concert on Wed. Oct. 5th. In attendance on this special night were drivers Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, and Kyle Petty, and NBS driver Martin Truex Jr. Entertainment on hand were country music stars Phil Vasser and Super duo Montgomery - Gentry with special guest Kid Rock. All artists put on outstanding performances. Greg Hultman of Hultman Inc. (event director) presented Tony with a check for $363,106.00 dollars, topping last years amount by more than $80,000.(10-10-2005)

  • Zipadelli Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Talladega: Tony Stewart may not have won the UAW-Ford 500 this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, but he performed in award-winning fashion. Stewart led the parade 11 times for a race high total of 65 laps before claiming second-place in one of the season's most thrilling finishes. Stewart's big day brought his crew chief Greg Zipadelli the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. Although Stewart made his top-five run look easy, but his finish didn't come without a roadblock. The Home Depot Chevrolet seemed to battle overheating problems from the start of the race. Despite pulling all of the tape off the grill of the #20 machine, the temperature continued to climb before finally reaching 275 degrees. Water began to leave the engine, which gave Zipadelli no choice but to sacrifice his driver's track position and attempt fix the problem. The team made an extended stop on pit road to refill the engine and cool the motor. Zipadelli's plan got Stewart back on the track without losing any laps. Stewart battled back to claim second-place. More importantly, his race day comeback put him back on top of the championship point standings. "The Home Depot Chevrolet was pretty good, but we had an overheating problem," said Zipadelli. "We probably had a little too much tape on it and in traffic it got too hot. It pushed some water out, so we had to put some water in it. I think we got an air bubble in it. Once we got that worked out, we went to the front and led a bunch of laps afterwards. Everybody on the team did a great job today and we got the points lead back. That's the most important thing."
    The panel of voters, including a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr., agreed that Zipadelli deserved Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors for his incredible comeback.
    Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Greg Zipadelli are tied for second-place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Robbie Reiser and Robbie Loomis are tied for third-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Chad Knaus and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for fourth place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(10-3-2005)

  • Petty's and Sprint Car Series? UPDATE 2: hearing there is supposed to be a press conference scheduled at Dover to announce the new sprint car league being formed by Petty Enterprises, called the National Sprint Car League?(9-21-2005)
    UPDATE: Been told Tony Stewart is involved and hearing the Petty family has a financial interest in thsi new series that will go head-to-head with World of Outlaws with a couple of Speedway Motorsports tracks. Also hearing that 12 of the top 17 WoO drivers are going with the new series, including Steve Kinser. Look for an announcement from Dover on Friday.(9-22-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Sprint car racing's biggest names have split into two separate series for 2006, drivers confirmed Wednesday. The World of Outlaws, owned by DIRT Motorsports, will retain five of its 18 full-time drivers  Altoona's Terry McCarl, Craig Dollansky, Brooke Tatnell, Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz  and plans to add more for 2006. Danny Lasoski, who drives for Tony Stewart Motorsports, represents one of 13 current Outlaws teams who have signed with the National Sprintcar League for the 2006 season. The group is backed by Petty Enterprises and has lured drivers such as Steve and Kraig Kinser, Jason Meyers and Tim Shaffer. It's not immediately clear how the split would affect Knoxville Raceway, which draws thousands for Outlaws races. Those figures swell to 25,000 per night during the Knoxville Nationals each August - with fans lured by many of the Outlaws drivers. "We saw no light at the end of the tunnel," said Lasoski, a four-time Knoxville Nationals champion. "This is a breath of fresh air for all of us." DIRT Motorsports completed the acquisition of the Outlaws in February of 2004 from founder Ted Johnson. They have yet to secure a title sponsor. Lasoski said he felt a new direction was necessary. He added an announcement is scheduled to be made this weekend at the NASCAR events at Dover, Del. Lasoski's concerns with DIRT included the lack of live television - Outlaws events air on the Outdoor Channel on a tape-delayed basis. He expects the Petty organization to rectify that situation, although no TV package is set yet. Lasoski said he would not run any Outlaws-sanctioned events next season, and was unsure what would happen regarding a possible non-sanctioned 2006 Knoxville Nationals. He added that NASCAR names such as Stewart, Kasey Kahne, the Pettys and Dave Blaney would field cars in the National Sprintcar League next season. This season, the structure of the World of Outlaws series remains unchanged in terms of points and scheduling. The Outlaws' next race is Friday at Jackson, Minn.(Des Moines Register)(9-23-2005)

  • Stewart Wins 3rd Quarter Driver of the Year Vote: Tony Stewart, who smoked the race tracks in NASCAR Nextel Cup series, fired up the voting among the media and the fans, easily winning the Speed Channel DRIVER OF THE YEAR third quarter, 2005. "It's an honor to be named the third quarter Driver of The Year, said Stewart, the 2002 Nextel Cup Champion. I didn't do it alone, though, as I had a great race team in Joe Gibbs Racing providing me with great race cars". Stewart drove the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, into victory lane at the quarters opening race, the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway and hasnt slowed to lookin his rear-view mirrors. Following an emotional win at the Allstate 400, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Stewart - known as Smoke - took over the points lead and held it as the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup started this Sunday. During the 12 weeks of the third quarter Stewart amassed an unmatched record of five wins and no finish worse than eighth. In the fan voting Stewart garnered all the first-place ballots, except for one (where he was voted in second place). As a result he scored 150 points, or, more than double the 69 points tallied by Dan Wheldon, of the Indy Racing League, the second quarter winner. Britains Wheldon won two races, in the quarter, has all but wrapped up the Indy Car Series title. Frances Sebastien Bourdais, the reigning Champ Car World Series Champion and current series leader had one first-place vote and counted a total of 58 points. Bourdais, who drives for Newman/Haas Racing had a string of three consecutive wins. Fourth place went to King of the Outlaws Steve Kinser. Noteworthy, Stewart was first, Martin Truex Jr., of the NASCAR Busch Series, finished second and the IRLs, Tony Kanaan, finished third as fans clicked their votes on the www.SpeedTV.com website. In its 39th year, the DRIVER OF THE YEAR title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Stewart received a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch which was presented on Speed TV.(Speed Channel)(9-20-2005)

  • Stewart on Letterman TONIGHT....and: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy, is scheduled to appear on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman, Wednesday, Sept 14th [not the 13th, sorry folks been mixing up my days this week - DOH!], the airs at 11:30pm/et. Actress Reese Witherspoon and musical group Arcade Fire are also scheduled to be on the show.(Late Night with David Letterman Show site)
    AND Tony Stewart will appear tonight on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman." There, Stewart and Letterman - both of whom are Indiana natives - will no doubt discuss their stirring victories at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart won the Aug. 7 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard as a driver, while Letterman won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as an owner with his driver, Buddy Rice.
    Stewart will maintain his national television presence with a Thursday [Sept 15th] morning visit to NBC's "Today" show. Following his trip to 30 Rockefeller Center, Stewart will appear on a variety of ESPN outlets, most notably ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" and ESPNEWS' "Hot List."
    Continuing the ESPN theme, Stewart is on the cover of this week's ESPN Magazine. Writer Tom Friend spent a day with Stewart prior to the Labor Day weekend Nextel Cup race at California Speedway, and before the interview, talked with numerous friends and family members to complete one of the most in-depth profiles of the 24-time Nextel Cup race victor.(9-14-2005)

  • WIX Filters Extends Joe Gibbs Racing Sponsorship: WIX Filters has announced that it will extend its associate sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing through 2007, taking the mutually beneficial relationship into its 15th year of NASCAR competition. The Joe Gibbs Racing associate sponsorship is the cornerstone of WIX Filters' involvement in NASCAR - more teams use WIX Filters than any other filter, making WIX the #1 filter in NASCAR - and the filter manufacturer leverages its relationship with JGR in marketing communications efforts. Joe Gibbs Racing's NEXTEL Cup #18 car, driven by Bobby Labonte, and its #20 car, driven by Tony Stewart, offer powerful visuals and voices in WIX Filters advertising; WIX uses its track-side research in its public relations efforts; and customers benefit from at-track events, racing-related promotions and the assurance that thanks to teams like Joe Gibbs Racing, the filter they are buying has succeeded on the toughest testing ground around. In addition, Labonte and Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs will make personal appearances on behalf of WIX Filters - a benefit that WIX shares with its customers, giving them a chance to bring a taste of NASCAR to their own events. WIX has been a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1993, just two years after Gibbs launched the race shop, and have continued a strong partnership ever since. Since 1939, WIX Filters has been an innovator in filtration products. WIX also has the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award, which recognizes the drivers leading the most laps in each race. For more info on WIX Filters' go to wixfilters.com.(PR)(9-13-2005)

  • Kaboom and Stewart at California: On Aug. 31 Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy will be participating in a KaBOOM! playground build at the Pomona (Calif.) YMCA and will be running a special paint scheme during the Sony HD 500 to help promote the build. Stewart said: "It's a pretty cool deal. It's a partnership between The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and KaBOOM!. We've done some KaBOOM! builds in the past, and they're great because unlike an autograph session or other kinds of appearances, you know you're actually doing something. The Pomona YMCA build is the fifth of 10 playground builds we'll be doing this year, and all of them are done in a single day. All of the playgrounds are NASCAR-themed and they're all taking place in race markets. But I know that Joe (Gibbs, team owner) won't let me touch any power tools or anything with a sharp edge. So I might just be stuck shoveling gravel or something. But if my tools don't make some kind of noise or aren't capable of making mass destruction of something, I'll be a little disappointed."(JGR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(8-31-2005)

  • Gibbs lands Logano despite Roush interest: For years, it seemed like a lock that teenage driving phenom Joey Logano would wind up at Roush Racing because of the interest that Mark Martin, Roush's veteran driver, has shown in the youngster, who sometimes competes against Martin's son Matt. But Logano, a 15-year-old, recent signed a driver development contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. Tom Logano, who handled the negotiations for his son, said he had hoped to work a deal with Roush, but he and team officials couldn't work out a contract so he called Gibbs. Four business days later, he said, the paperwork was signed, and his son will race under Gibbs' banner. "It looks like I tried to shop Joey, but the chemistry at Roush just wasn't there," he said. Roush's team has been reluctant to hire drivers under legal age since Kyle Busch reneged on an agreement to race for the team and moved to Hendrick Motorsports after he turned 18.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(8-19-2005)

  • Stewart ok after Sprint wreck: Tony Stewart was not hurt when he crashed while leading the Sprint Sizzler at Eldora [he owns] Speedway Wednesday night in Rossburg, Ohio. Stewart lost a right-front tire on the ninth lap and hit the wall creating a melee that also eliminated fellow NASCAR driver Dave Blaney, who was running second. Kasey Kahne, the third Nextel Cup driver in the winged sprint car field, took the lead after the Stewart-Blaney crash but lost it four laps later to eventual race winner Darren Long. Stewart, Kahne and Blaney joined 36 other drivers on the half-mile Eldora Speedway dirt track Stewart purchased in December.(Indianapolis Star)(8-19-2005)

  • Stewart turns over his hearse: #20-Tony Stewart quietly turned over a pair of cars from his collection to celebrity customizer Will Castro a few weeks ago at the 16th Street Speedway in Indianapolis. The first car, a Lamborghini, didnt raise many eyebrows, as A-list athletes and cool cars go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, Castro has worked on more Lamborghinis then he can remember. But the second ride was a little different -- a baby blue1984 Cadillac Brougham hearse. Yes, that kind of hearse. Intrigued by the challenge, however, Castro and his crew from Unique Autosports in New York believe they are up to the task of customizing the unusual car for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points leader. This will be, at the very least, a five-month project, said Castro, whose show Unique Whips airs Wednesday nights on SPEED Channel at 9:00pm/et/pt. We will do a complete job inside and out -- new wheels, new tires and custom paint. Well add a custom top, an all new interior with a home entertainment system, plasma screens and a wet bar. It will be crazy. Stewart, who purchased the car in Cincinnati just to mess with people, trusts Castro and his team to have some fun with the car. Im not going to tell Will what to do, Stewart said. That would be like Will telling me how to drive. He is a genius and this is what he does.(Speed Channel)(8-18-2005)

  • A parade for Stewart: Indiana native and NASCAR star Tony Stewart was ushered through Columbus, IN atop an antique fire truck Monday in a parade attended by thousands of adoring fans. "This just isn't a parade for me," said Stewart, addressing the crowd from the steps of City Hall. "This town has backed me and supported me. This parade is for the city of Columbus." The parade offered local residents a chance to thank the man who moved back to Columbus, one of two Indiana towns that claim him as a native, after years of living closer to his racing headquarters in North Carolina. Stewart has won five of the past seven NASCAR Nextel Cup races and leads the season points standings. Gov. Mitch Daniels, in his famous recreational vehicle, joined the parade. "As a devoted Tony Stewart fan," Daniels said, "I would've been glad to sit here on the sidewalk tonight."(Indianapolis Star)(8-16-2005)

  • Tony Stewart wins at Watkins Glen: #20-Tony Stewart won the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen at Watkins Glen International, dominating the race, leading 83 of 92 laps, for his fifth win of 2005 and 24th of his career, increasing his points lead to 105 points over #48-Jimmie Johnson who finished 5th. #7-Robby Gordon, who started 39th, finished 2nd, followed by #36-Boris Said [his best carrer finish], #40-Scott Pruett and Johnson. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 10th and #24-Jeff Gordon finished 14th. The race finished under a Green-White-Checker finish as there was a late caution, but no one ran out of gas.
    For cautions, some race narrative, lap leaders, etc see my Watkins Glen Race Info/Rundown Page.
    For race results and links, see Jayski's Watkins Glen Race Results Page.(8-14-2005)

  • Stewart's Indy Celebration to be seen on Watkins Glen prerace: Because last Sunday's Allstate 400 at Indianapolis ran a little bit long, fans watching at home didn't get to see much of Tony Stewart's emotional celebration after he got through talking with Allen Bestwick. That will change Sunday, as the network will show the remainder of Stewart's Brickyard victory party during the pre-race show from Watkins Glen.(NASCAR.com)(8-12-2005)

  • Home Depot to Offer a 10% Discount on Bricks, Wall Blocks and Pavers in Celebration of Historic Victory: Tony Stewart scored the biggest win of his career when he drove his #20 Home Depot Chevy to victory lane in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday. While the hometown hero cemented his leadership with his name on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's race trophy, Stewart's sponsor, The Home Depot , put a 10% discount on bricks, wall blocks and pavers this weekend at all U.S. The Home Depot stores. The official home improvement warehouse of NASCAR will take out full-page color ads in today's USA Today, and Friday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Indianapolis Star, Evansville (Ind.) Courier, Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard and Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle with a congratulatory note for Stewart and the #20 Home Depot Racing Team. Customers who present a copy of the coupon from the ad will receive a 10% discount on bricks, wall blocks and pavers this Thursday through Sunday (Aug. 11-14). "First it was ladders and fences, and now it's bricks and pavers," said Stewart, alluding to The Home Depot's previous 10 percent discount on ladders and fences that followed his fence-climbing celebratory antics at Daytona (Fla.) and New Hampshire. "I plan to keep winning races and helping to drive down the cost of home improvement for The Home Depot customers." Paved with 3.2 million bricks in 1909, the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway is best known as the Brickyard. While its surface is now covered with asphalt, a yard of bricks remains at the start/finish line as a testament to the track's famed history.(The Home Depot/True Speed Communication)(8-12-2005)

  • A Parade for Tony on Monday: Columbus, IN will have a chance to show its support for Tony Stewart [#20 Home Depot Chevy] at 7:00pm Monday at a parade through downtown. Following the parade, Stewart, a Columbus native and winner of Sundays Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, will be recognized at a ceremony at City Hall. The parade will form at Washington and Eighth streets at the Moose Lodge and will travel down Washington Street where it will end at City Hall. If Sundays NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, NY in New York is rain-delayed until Monday, the parade would be postponed until Tuesday. Stewart is making a name for Columbus and Indiana by being the first Hoosier native to win a race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1940. Stewart also leads the points standings in NASCARs Nextel Cup Series and was the series champion in 2002.(The Republic)(8-11-2005)

  • Zipadelli Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Indy: Greg Zipadelli made Tony Stewart's dream come true this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - he brought the Indiana native a win at the Brickyard 400. Stewart held the lead three times for a total of 44 laps before taking the checkered flag in one of NASCAR's most prestigious events. His victory marked his fourth win this season and his seventh consecutive top-10 finish. For arranging the appointment for his driver to "kiss the bricks," Zipadelli was voted the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
    Stewart had the car to beat this weekend. But unlike most winning cars that arrive to the track with hours of practice and test sessions already logged, Stewart's car came fresh to the Brickyard. The original car that Zipadelli planned on using for the race didn't test well, so he had his Home Depot crew piece together a brand new # 20 machine. "I'm just so proud of this team," said Zipadelli. "I'd like to thank my fab shop and motor room. This is a brand new car. Everybody worked night and day to get it built. We weren't happy with the one we tested. We went to the wind tunnel and the car looked good. And we brought it back here even without even taking it to the race track. So I couldn't be prouder of everybody in our organization."
    The panel of voters; including Steve Ballard of the Indianapolis Star, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all agreed that Zipadelli deserved Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors. Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson, Bob Osborne, Greg Zipadelli and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Jimmy Fennig and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for third place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(8-9-2005)

  • Tony the 1st since 1940: the last Indiana native [born in] to win a race at Indy had been the late Wilbur Shaw, who won the Indy 500 in 1940. Shaw was born in nearby Shelbyville, just 20 miles from Stewart's hometown of Rushville [he lives in Columbus now].(Yahoo Sports)(8-8-2005)

  • Tony Stewart wins at the Brickyard!: #20-Tony Stewart won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, leading 44 of 160 laps, for his first ever win at his home track, setting off a prolonged celebration, doing a lap around, then a rever lap back to his turn 2 suite, got out of the car and climbed the wall to salute the people in his suite, then drove back to start-finish line, climbing the fence with his crew, who climbed the fence aa couple times. Stewart then laid down on the front stretch wall and gave interviews from there. It is Stewart's 4th win of 2005, the 23rd of his career and Stewart takes over the points lead after #48-Jimmie Johnson crashed late finished 38th. So Stewart also wins the NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus of is $90,000 for being the leader and winning the race. Johnson was taken to a local hospital for observation and to get checked out. Finishing 2nd was #9-Kasey Kahne, followed by #25-Brian Vickers, # 19-Jeremy Mayfield and #17-Matt Kenseth. Pole sitter, #38-Elliott Sadler ran in the top-10 all day until he had a tire go down around lap 151, lost a lap and finished 32nd, which knocked him out of the Chase for the Nextel Cup. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, wrecked midrace and finished 43rd and is pretty much out of the Chase. Nice runs by Petty Enterprises with #45-Kyle Petty finishing 13th and #43-Jeff Green was 15th. And #0-Mike Bliss had another good runm finishing 11th after hanging around the top-10 the last half of the race.
    For my race rundown, caution narratives, race notes and more...see my Indy Race Info/Rundown Page
    For race results and links, see Jayski's Brickyard 400 Race Results Page.(8-7-2005)

  • Home Depot announces community initiative: With the physical activity of children on the decline, The Home Depot, sponsor for last weeks Cup race winner, Tony Stewart, and the national nonprofit organization KaBOOM!, announced an unprecedented community initiative to create and refurbish 1,000 playspaces in 1,000 days throughout North America. Over the next three years, The Home Depot will invest $25 million and nearly 1 million volunteer hours in support of this program, which is expected to benefit 1.5 million parents and children. Communities interested in bringing a new playspace to their area can visit www.kaboom.org for program details.(7-23-2005)

  • Home Depot wants customers to climb too: In wheeling his #20 Home Depot Chevrolet to three wins in the last four races, Tony Stewart has taken The Home Depot's do-it-yourself mantra to new heights. The 2002 series champion is chasing a second title, and his front-running ways have allowed him to climb from 10th to third in the championship point standings. But Stewart isn't just figuratively climbing, he's doing it literally.
    And while there isn't a ladder with a red flag hanging from the trunk of his Home Depot Chevrolet, there could be for consumers who read USA Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, the New Hampshire Union Leader or the Pocono (Pa.) Record. Ladders and all sorts of fences are 10 percent off Thursday through Sunday, only at The Home Depot. Just clip the coupon from the ads featured in the aforementioned publications and present it at purchase. Be sure to thank Stewart.
    The 22-time Nextel Cup race winner started climbing fences with a dominating victory earlier this month at Daytona (Fla.), where after leading all but nine of the race's 160 laps, he scaled the fencing along the track's front straightaway to retrieve the checkered flag. And when Stewart won again last Sunday at New Hampshire, he parked his Home Depot Chevrolet at the start/finish line, pointed to the flag stand and climbed the fencing as if it were a cargo net.
    That prompted Stewart's longtime sponsor - The Home Depot - to run a series of print ads featuring its driver's climbing prowess to proclaim, "Hey Tony, we have ladders," and offer its 10 percent discount. "I'm not sure if my contract has any sales incentives in it," said Stewart, "but if climbing some fences sells more ladders and fences at Home Depot, they better stock up, because I plan on climbing a bunch more before the season is over."(Joe Gibbs Racing/True Speed)(7-22-2005)

  • Stewart catching Johnson: Over the past five races, #20-Tony Stewart has gained 295 points on #48-Jimmie Johnson, outscoring the points leader 905-610.(Gaston Gazette)(7-18-2005)

  • Stewart dominates at New Hampshire: #20-Tont Stewart won the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, leading 232 of 300 laps. The win is Stewart's 3rd of the season and 22nd of his career [now tied with Terry Labonte for 22nd on the all-time list]. It is Stewarts 3rd win in 4 races. Stewart climbed the fence again and got to the flag stand to salute the crowd. #97-Kurt Busch finished 2nd, followed by #18-Bobby Labonte [that'll squash those rumors], #5-Kyle Busch and #16-Greg Biffle. #24-Jeff Gordon was running 6th with 15 laps to go when he lost the brakes and ended up 25th a lap down, really hurting his chances to make the chase. #48-Jimmie Johnson faded towards the end and finished 13th and lost a bit of his points lead, down to a lead of 77 over #16-Biffle and Stewart is now only 85 behind Johnson. Gordon is now 15th, 538 points behind the leader and 120 out of 10th. There are now only 9 drivers under 400 points behind the leader, so the top-10 are the drivers currently in. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 13th, 477 behind the leader and only 59 points out of 10th.(7-17-2005)

    For race results see Jayski's Loudon Race Results/Awards page.(7-17-2005)

  • Gibbs to four teams? Not looking at Sorenson: Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] is contemplating an expansion to a four-car effort next season, according to team sources. However, J. D. Gibbs, who runs the team for his NFL coaching father, insists the company isn't looking at hiring Busch hotshot Reed Sorensen, despite reports.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-18-2005)

  • Home Depot Racing Team Forced to Backup Car After Crash in Practice: Tony Stewart crashed his primary Home Depot Chevrolet midway through this morning's practice session at Chicagoland Speedway. He cut a right front tire upon entering turn four of the 1.5-mile oval, making a hard right side impact with the turn four retaining wall. The #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Team will now race Chassis No. 100 in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400. This is just the second time in its six-and-a-half year existence the #20 team has had to use its backup race car following a crash in practice. The only other time where its backup race car was used due to a crash in practice was last year at Chicagoland. There, in the morning practice session, Stewart hit oil in turn three, spun, and impacted the turn three wall with the left side of the race car. Stewart went on to win last year's race at Chicagoland in his backup race car. Following today's crash, Stewart was evaluated in the infield care center. While Stewart was awake, alert and able to walk on his own, medical personnel determined that further examination was needed at St. Joseph's Hospital in Joliet. There, Stewart underwent precautionary X-rays. All tests came back negative.
    J.J. Yeley, driver of the #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Busch Series, qualified the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet a respectable 13th for the USG Sheetrock 400. The sophomore Busch Series driver toured the 1.5-mile oval in 29.006 seconds with an average speed of 186.168 mph. Yeley was fitted into the seat of the #20 car and was able to make two mock qualifying runs before today's practice session ended. In his first career Busch Series start last year at Chicagoland, Yeley led 25 laps before a late race pit stop dropped him to ninth. With Yeley qualifying the #20 car, Stewart will start the USG Sheetrock 400 from the 43rd and last position. The benefit of Yeley making a qualifying attempt was for the #20 team to obtain the best pit selection possible. Stewart will drive the #20 car in tomorrow's two practice sessions and in Sunday's race.
    "My guys had to work and their efforts got us a 13th in qualifying trim," said crew chief Greg Zipadelli. "So our pit pick is a little bit better than if we didn't do it. And most importantly, we did the drill. We put somebody else in who hadn't been in our car and we just missed the top-10 in qualifying. So, I'm proud of my guys. I think a big part of it is keeping our momentum going, but also keeping our confidence that we can do what we need to do. That's important this time of year."
    "If Tony's not feeling up to it, we won't run that much tomorrow," added Zipadelli. "We'll let J.J. run some and go from there. We'll just keep J.J. as a backup driver. He's done a great job for us. If he's got a good race track, this is one of them. He just tested two days up here in his Busch car. He was really good this morning and really comfortable. He got in our car and did a great job. I wouldn't think twice about anybody else."(True Speed Communication)(7-8-2005)

  • Stewart wrecks in practice: #20-Tony Stewart crashed in turn 4 during cup practice for the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Rescue workers took their time in helping Stewart out of the #20-Home Depot Chevy. He appeared a bit groggy, however walked to the ambulance under his own power and waved to the fans. He was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital for precautionary xrays. The team will go to a back up car. Stewart's car may have cut down a right front tire, however at this time crew chief Greg Zipadelli doesn't know what happened. Joe Gibbs Racing's Busch driver, J.J. Yeley is practicing Stewart's backup car.(PRN's Garage Pass at the track)(7-8-2005)

  • Hard to beileve....OOPS and CORRECTION #20-Tony Stewarts victory gave owner Joe Gibbs a new distinction. It was the first time Gibbs-owned cars had ever won two races in a row. Stewart followed up his victory at Infineon Raceway with his first official victory in a restrictor-plate race. First time in 14 years, said Gibbs. Its hard to do. And its been a hard, tough year for us. This is a big deal for Joe Gibbs Racing as a whole.(Gaston Gazette), Gibbs also owns the #18-Bobby Labonte and #11-Jason Leffler teams.(7-5-2005)
    CORRECTION: Stewart's back-to-back triumphs at Sonoma and Daytona marked the fourth time in his seven-year Nextel Cup career that he has logged back-to-back wins. In 1999, Stewart's second career Nextel Cup win at Phoenix in November was followed one week later by his win at Homestead. And twice in 2000 Stewart scored back-to-back wins - in June at Dover and Michigan and again in late September and early October with wins at Dover and Martinsville.(True Speed Communication)(7-5-2005)

  • Zipadelli Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award: No one came close to topping Tony Stewart this weekend at the Pepsi 400. Stewart led the parade for a record breaking 151 laps of the 160 lap event. Despite the field ganging up on the #20 Chevrolet, Stewart easily held on to the top spot to pick up his second consecutive win. Stewart's dominant night made his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, the easy pick for the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
    The panel of voters; including Buddy Shacklette of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all agreed that Zipadelli unquestionably deserved Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors. "They (#20 team) came here with the right stuff," said Shacklette. "They were fast off the truck. I don't think Greg (Zipadelli) had to make very many changes all night. Obviously he did his homework. They were solid here in February and were solid here again. Greg is definitely the man of the hour."
    "That was one of the best cars that I've ever seen at Daytona," said Reiser. "No one stood a chance against it. Everyone is going to have to raise the bar on their superspeedway program before we go to Talladega or Tony (Stewart) will have another day like this. Greg (Zipadelli) had an awesome day and no one deserved to be Crew Chief of the Race more than him."
    Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Bob Osborne, Fatback McSwain, Greg Zipadelli and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for third place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(7-3-2005)

  • Stewart wins at Daytona: #20-Tony Stewart won the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway for his first win restrictor plate points win, 2nd win of 2005, 2nd in a row and 21st of his career. In a move I have never seen and that was very cool, Stewart turned the car around, stopped at the flag stand, got out of the car, climbed the fence and onto the flagstand, high fived the two flagmen and saluted the crowd, very cool. #42-Jamie McMurray held on for second after running in the top five most of the night, following was #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (after started 39th), #2-Rusty Wallace and #88-Dale Jarrett [now 10th in points]. #16-Greg Biffle. the points leader coming in to Daytona, was involved in a wreck when #15-Waltrip lost a tire on a restart and finished 36th. Biffle lost the points lead to #48-Jimmie Johnson, who finished 6th and now leads Biffle by 73 points.
    The rest of the top-10: #48-Johnson, #24-Jeff Gordon, #4-Mike Wallace [started 43rd], #17-Matt Kenseth and #49-Kenny Schrader grabbed the 10th spot. Stewart led 151 of 160 laps, a new record. There were 9 cautions for 41 laps.
    For race results see Jayski's Pepsi 400 Race Results/Awards page.(7-3-2005)

  • Bank of America buys MBNA: Bank of America Corp. will buy MBNA Corp. in a stock and cash deal valued at $35 billion, combining the third- and fifth-largest credit-card companies in the country into what could be the largest.(Charlotte Business Journal), no word how this will effect the MBNA sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing or the MBNA Halfway Leader program.(6-30-2005)

  • Stewart wins at Infineon Raceway: #20-Tony Stewart won the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway for his first win of 2005, 4th on a road course, 2nd at Infineon Raceway and 20th of his career. It is Stewart's first win in 30 races, since Watkins Glen last August. #21-Ricky Rudd coasted to the finish [ran out of gas after the checkered flag]. #97-Kurt Busch, #2-Rusty Wallace and #88-Dale Jarrett round out the top-five. #16-Greg Biffle, who started 41st, led 8 laps and finished 14th, which coupled with #48-Jimmie Johnson's transmission problems, vaulted Biffle into the points lead by 22 points. This is the first time Biffle has led the Nextel Cup Drivers Points standings. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had trouble from the get-go, having a transmission problem, getting into #0-Mike Bliss and spun out and wrecked. Dale Jr. finished 42nd, 22 laps down and is now 18th in points, 543 points out of the lead and out of The Chase. #24-Jeff Gordon also fell victim to the Hendrick Motorsports transmission woes and after dominating the first 32 laps, finished up 33rd and is out of The Chase, -414 points. Two road course specialists finished in the top-10, #32-Ron Fellows finished 8th and #33-Brian Simo was 10th.
    For more about the race, see my Sonoma/Infineon Raceway Race Info/Rundown Page for lap leaders, cautions, narratives, etc.
    For race results see Jayski's Infineon Raceway Race Results/Awards page.(6-26-2005)

  • Gibbs FanFest returns: The annual Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Fall FanFest returns in 2005, where from 9:00am to 2:00pm/et on Fri., Oct. 14, JGRs drivers from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Weekly Racing Series will be available for autographs at the teams recently renovated race shop in Huntersville, North Carolina.(JGR Site), see more on my Racing Charities page.(6-25-2005)

  • KaBoom Scheme at California: #20-Tony Stewart will race a KaBOOM! paint scheme at California in September. As part of the Racing to Play Program Home Depot has teamed up with KaBOOM! to build playgrounds in communities across the U.S. Last week, Stewart and the Home Depot team helped build a playground in Jackson, Michigan.(Racing One)
    AND The Home Depot and NASCAR kicked off Racing to Play, a national partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and KaBOOM! in Jackson, Michigan on June 16th. The campaign, which features playground builds in ten cities nationwide, is designed to make a lasting impression in the lives of at- risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. Racing to Play kicked off with a playground build at the Jackson Arts and Technology Academy in Jackson, Michigan prior to the Michigan 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Tony Stewart and other members of Joe Gibbs Racing participated. "This program brings together two of my deepest interests -- racing and providing assistance to children in need," said Stewart. "In addition to building playgrounds, I hope that we can inspire these children to fulfill their dreams."(KaBOOM.org), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(6-21-2005)

  • Tony and Jeff play phone tag: #24-Jeff Gordon hasn't talked with #20-Tony Stewart after the two exchanged barbs in separate interviews last week at Dover, but Gordon isn't losing sleep over it. "Tony gave me a call this week and left me a message, I called him back and left him a message," Gordon said. "I'm still not thrilled about what happened there and definitely not thrilled with what was said after the race, but it's hard racing. "I've been through this many times. I'm not going to pay any attention to it. I'm not going to worry about it. We've got a championship to win. I want to put it behind me and move on."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-11-2005)

  • Stewart speeds, get ticket, takes lumps: Tony Stewart, 33, first wanted his day in court to answer a May 5 speeding citation in northeast Jackson County [Indiana], but he has since changed his mind about requesting a trial and decided to enter a deferral program. That program will allow the 2001 NASCAR champion to avoid any points on his Indiana drivers license if he has no further traffic citations in the next year. Stewarts early morning trip through Jackson County May 5 cost him $141 to pay for his entry into the deferral program. Stewart received a ticket for traveling 80 mph in an area north of Seymour where the speed limit is 55 mph. The ticket was issued by an Indiana State Police Trooper after Stewart was stopped while driving north on U.S. 31 just south of Reddington. Stewart was driving a black 2004 Humvee. On May 17, Stewart pleaded not guilty to the speeding charge and requested a trial date. Jackson Superior Court Judge Frank W. Guthrie had set a trial date of 1:30 p.m. July 26, but that trial wont happen since Stewart entered the deferral program.(The Tribune-IN)(6-9-2005)

  • Home Depot and Gibbs to build Playgrounds UPDATE Vote in KaBOOM Ice Cream: Home Depot today announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and the nonprofit group, KaBOOM! - www.kaboom.org, to build playgrounds for at-risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. The Racing to Play program is designed to build a NASCAR-themed playground in a single day just prior to a scheduled weekend NASCAR race. Tony Stewart, whose JGR Nextel Cup entry is sponsored by Home Deport, is scheduled to take part when the first playground is built June 16 in Jackson, Mich., prior to the Michigan 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Plans call for additional playgrounds in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Joliet, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Fontana, Calif.; Richmond, Va.; Talladega, Ala.; Kansas City, Kan; Atlanta, Ga.; and Phoenix, Ariz.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-28-2005)
    HELP name Ice Cream: KaBOOM! - www.kaboom.org, is a national non-profit organization that was created in 1995 with a vision of great playspaces within walking distance of every child in North America. Over its short but illustrious history, KaBOOM! has become the leading authority on a childs right to play, built hundreds of community playspaces and renovated thousands more. Through participant feedback, they have developed, tested and continually improved their simple, fun and rewarding community-build process. More info at www.kaboom.org.
    To help out, go to the flavor graveyard at benandjerrys.com and vote for KaBerry KaBOOM!. If KaBoom wins, they will receive an estimated $10,000 and a huge PR campaign when they bring back the flavor. Last count had the flavor down by 2500 votes and today, May 31st, is the last day to vote. From now until the end of May, fans of KaBerry KaBOOM! can vote online to bring it back from Ben & Jerry's infamous Flavor Graveyard. The winning flavor will be available at Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops nationwide this fall. Not only that, but if KaBerry KaBOOM! wins, KaBOOM! will receive a portion of the proceeds for each scoop sold. So cast your vote today and bring back the flavor that supports a child's right to play!(5-31-2005)

  • Dale Jr. and Stewart on the Today Show, May 17th: Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are expected to be featured on Tuesday morning's broadcast of the "Today" show making a NASCAR "dream" come true for Miechel Bassett of Evansville, Ind., a Home Depot press release says. The two Nextel Cup drivers took Bassett around Richmond International Raceway in a Richard Petty Driving Experience car as part of the show's "Live for Today" segment. The segment, taped with NBC "Nightly News" anchor and longtime NASCAR fan Brian Williams, is scheduled to air between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-16-2005)

  • Gibbs undergoes heart procedure...last month - back to work and fine: Joe Gibbs Racing owner [#11,#18,#20] Joe Gibbs was hospitalized for a heart procedure to open a clogged artery last month, The Washington Post reports. Gibbs, who is 64 and who coaches the Washington Redskins football team, said doctors placed a small, spring-like wire tube known as a stent in the artery at a Washington hospital in mid-April. Gibbs said he remained overnight but returned to work the next day and was back to his regular workout routine, which includes a 45-minute run, within several days. "I understand the public interest, but it has no effect on my work, or my tenure with the Redskins," he said. "I considered it a private matter."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-12-2005)
  • Stewart talks about 'feud' with Johnson: #20-Tony Stewart has no idea why everyone is making such a big deal over him and #48-Jimmie Johnson getting together on the track at Phoenix. At Talladega, Stewart told PRN's Garage Pass, "He's a good friend of mine. He's tried to call all week but I've been in Alabama fishing and didn't even bring my cell phone. There's not a problem between us, we're really good friends and nothing is going to change that. There's buddies that wreck into each other all the time and that's why they call it accidents. I don't know why everybody's making such a big deal about it." The part that you guys don't see is the part of where the guy's trying to call you on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday trying to get a hold of you and wants to apologize. Nobody will write about it 'cause nobody cares because it doesn't create good media. The part that ticks you off is that they'll do everything they can to make it a big deal but there's nothing there and there's nobody there to follow up on saying hey this guy called the next day first thing in the morning to try and get a hold of him to say sorry it happened and didn't mean to get into ya. It's no big deal."
    "When we talk after the race you guys (the media) have the luxury of being there right after the race so the emotion is there, you say things that by the time you get home that night you're like, nah, it wasn't a big deal. I know who he is, I know him as a person, I know it wasn't intentional and you discard it. We've done a pretty good job in the last six to eight months of being under the radar and something that wasn't even our fault last week is becoming a big problem for us. Not because it's a problem between the two guys that it happened with but it's because of the radio and the writers and this and that want to make a big deal about it. There is no deal, there's nothing there, there 's nothing there of any substance, it was a wreck that happened."
    When asked if some people want to try and create a rivalry Stewart agreed saying "Any time they can do something like that they do and that's what ticks me off more than anything in this sport, it's what I absolutely hate about it, is the fact that people are trying to make something out of nothing and that's what's frustrating." Stewart was asked if there needs to be some great on track rivalry. "Do you think there has to be? I don't care if it does or not. It doesn't matter to me when I get in the car whether there's a rivalry on the race track with anybody or not it doesn't change how I race. It doesn't matter, it's a waste of my time."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-29-2005)

  • Stewart gets saucy: Tony Stewart introduced his owen brand of Bar-B-Que sauce this past weekend while in Texas. "SMOKE" Bar-B-Que Sauce more info at www.smoke20.com
    AND another racing related sauce is Buring Asphalt, a hot sauce, more info at burningasphalt.com.(4-21-2005)

  • Stewart Burned: Sidelined with a blown motor that erupted in flames on lap 297. Mike Arning, PR spokesman for Tony Stewart released this: "Tony has some first degree burns. There is a small burn on the lower back of his right thigh that's about the size of a fist. The other area is on his right elbow. It's about half the size of the one on his thigh, and it's more like a bad sunburn. Both are minor burns which he'll treat on his own in the coming days."(GM PR)(4-17-2005)

  • Stewart's streak snapped: when #20-Tony Stewart lost an engine at Texas and finished 31st, it knocked him out of the top 10 in drivers points [now 11th] for the first time in 51 races, since Dover - September 2003.(4-17-2005)

  • Woman killed at JGR Construction site UPDATE: A woman was killed Wednesday afternoon while helping finish construction on an addition to a race team's facility. Authorities were called about 2:30pm/et about an injury at Joe Gibbs Racing on Reese Boulevard in the Huntersville Business Park, about 15 miles north of uptown Charlotte. The woman, whose identity was being withheld until authorities notify her family, died on the scene. Although officials with the company and the police released few details, preliminary reports suggested a joist had struck the woman, said Juan Santos, a N.C. Department of Labor spokesman. The woman worked for the general contractor at the site, not the race company, according to a statement released by Joe Gibbs Racing. Officials with Precision Walls Inc. declined to comment as they left the site, while officials from Shelco Inc., the general contractor, could not be reached. Huntersville police and state officials are still investigating the incident.(Charlotte Observer)(3-31-2005)
    UPDATE: Huntersville police on Monday released the identity of the woman killed last week while helping finish construction on an addition to a race team's facility. Asia Mena Diez, 42, of Charlotte died Wednesday afternoon when the platform lift she was in slammed her into the rafters in a Joe Gibbs Racing building in the Huntersville Business Park, Lt. Ken Richardson said.She worked for Queen Drywall, a subcontractor under general contractor Shelco Inc., he said. There were no signs of foul play, Richardson said. It appeared she had hit a button on the lift, he said.(Charlotte Observer)(4-6-2005)

  • JGR's Diversity Program Ready for 2nd Season: After scoring three wins, three poles, 15 top-five finishes and 34 top-10 finishes in its first season of NASCAR Weekly Racing Series competition in 2004, Joe Gibbs Racing's (JGR) diversity program hit the ground running in 2005 as second-year drivers Aric Almirola and Chris Bristol finished third in their respective early-season races. Almirola drove his #92 Home Depot Chevrolet to a strong third-place finish in the March 19 Doughton Racing Products 300 Late Model stock car race at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. Bristol equaled his teammate's mark a week later, piloting his #92 MBNA Chevrolet to third in the March 26 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series season-opener at Hickory Motor Speedway. In 2005, Almirola moves from being a regular Late Model driver at Ace Speedway to campaign his Home Depot Chevrolet at big Late Model races throughout the Southeast. Bristol, meanwhile, moves to the .363-mile Hickory oval to compete regularly in that track's Late Model program. Both cars will carry the number 92 in tribute to White, the number he wore throughout his football career.(Joe Gibbs Racing/True Speed Communication)(4-1-2005)

  • Top 10 Stuff: #20-Tony Stewart has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 49 consecutive races (since Dover - September 2003), the longest current streak. #97-Kurt Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #6-Mark Martin, #20-Tony Stewart and #2-Rusty Wallace have each ranked in the top 10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings after every race in 2005.(NASCAR Stat Services)(3-28-2005)

  • Sad News: Greg Zipadelli's [#20 Tony Stewart crew chief] grand father. Charles J. Zipadelli, 89, of New Britain, CT, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday (March 1, 2005). In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Zippys Crusade for Kids, 114 Whaling La., Mooresville, NC 28117 [gregzipadelli.com], more info on Mr. Zipadelli at the Hartford Courant.(3-2-2005)

  • Special Schemes for Gibbs #18 and #20: DreamWorks Animation, Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries, The Home Depot and Action Performance Companies Inc. announced details about their latest NASCAR racing special centered around the upcoming animated feature film, Madagascar. The film follows the story of four "wild" animals who are treated to a pampered existence in the zoo until they accidentally are shipped to the island of Madagascar. The four principle characters - Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippopotamus - provide the basis for paint schemes that will decorate the #18 Interstate Batteries and #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet race cars owned by Joe Gibbs Racing. DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar opens nationwide in theaters on May 27, 2005. Tony Stewart will drive the #20 The Home Depot/Madagascar Chevrolet during the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on May 21. Bobby Labonte, Stewart's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, will pilot the #18 Interstate Batteries/Madagascar Chevrolet during NASCAR's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, on May 29, 2005. Both races will take place at the NASCAR track near Charlotte, N.C.
    The cross-promotion marks the second time that DreamWorks Animation has teamed with Joe Gibbs Racing in as many race seasons. Last year, the organizations teamed to showcase a pair of Shrek 2-themed stock cars that also saw action during the all-star and Memorial Day weekend races. Action Performance Companies, the leader in licensed motorsports merchandise, designed the Madagascar machines, including a limited edition program car. Action also will create die-cast replica versions of both the #18 and #20 Madagascar-edition race cars. In addition to the specialty paint scheme, each collectible comes in its own unique Madagascar-themed packaging. The collectibles will be available through Action's standard distribution channels.
    DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar is a computer-animated comedy starring four civilized animals - a lion, a zebra, a giraffe and a hippo - who have lived their entire lives in blissful captivity, growing up as best friends at the Central Park Zoo...until the day they are put on a boat to Africa and suddenly find themselves washed ashore onto the exotic island of Madagascar. Now, these native New Yorkers must learn to survive in this strange land and discover the true meaning of the phrase, "it's a jungle out there."(Action Performance PR), see images on my #18 Team Schemes page and #20 Team Schemes page.(2-26-2005)

  • Stewart wins....Contingency Awards: Tony Stewart led a race-high total of 107 laps during Sunday's Daytona 500 on his way to a seventh-place finish in Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 Chevy and collected three of the eight contingency awards announced after the event. Stewart's prizes were the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award, MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award and WIX Lap-Leader Award. The Bud Pole Award went to Dale Jarrett, and the Commit to Win Award went to Jimmie Johnson. Mobil Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race went to Dale Earnhardt Jr., while Travis Kvapil was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race. Elliott Sadler earned the USG Improving The Finish Awards after starting 39th and finishing 11th.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-22-2005)

  • Meeting at the White Trailer: After the post-race garage altercation between #20-Tony Stewart and #48 Crew Chief Chad Knaus, NASCAR officials called Stewart, Johnson and their crew chiefs to the hauler. Ten minutes later, Stewart and Johnson emerged together proclaiming friendship, in a very unusual, almost bizarre peace scene. "It's fine," Stewart said. "Like Jimmie says, we're racing on the last lap of the Daytona 500. I was mad he pinched me into the fence. We bumped into each other; we both did the same thing to each other. So it's fine. We both had good weeks here; we both finished in the top-10. We're both leaving here in a good situation in the points. NASCAR, more than anything, wanted to make sure it wasn't something that would linger overnight. Like I told Jimmie, we're both really, really good friends, and this isn't even something that's going to linger tonight. It's over with."(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND #48-Jimmie Johnson and #20-Tony Stewart were called to the NASCAR trailer for rough driving in the closing laps. Stewart claimed Johnson "pinched" him into the No. 10 car of Scott Riggs while Johnson said Stewart ran him into the wall. When asked what was discussed with the sanctioning body, Stewart answered, "We were trading cooking secrets." Stewart, who finished seventh, had the dominant car, leading 107 laps. It was the second consecutive year he has led the most laps at the 500 and come away without a win. Johnson finished fifth.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(2-21-2005)

  • No Indy double? A handful of NASCAR drivers took notice when the start of the Indianapolis 500 was moved back an hour, making it almost impossible for them to compete at the Brickyard and in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart and John Andretti have all attempted "The Double'' in recent years. It was a tough task even when the Indy race began at 11:00am/et because it was still a scramble to make it back to North Carolina in time for the NASCAR event [Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway]. Now that the race will start at noon, Gordon said Indy will be hard-pressed to get any NASCAR drivers in the field. "That's the dumbest decision they could have made,'' Gordon said. "One of the draws of that race these days is seeing what NASCAR stars try to run the double, and I just don't understand why they would take that element out of it by moving the start time.'' Indy officials want to attract a larger television audience with the later start. Tony Stewart echoed Gordon's thoughts. Just him showing up last year on Bump Day drew significant attention as his mere presence at the track added excitement to an otherwise non-eventful day. "I wasn't planning on doing it again, but it's got to be the dumbest thing I've ever seen Indianapolis Motor Speedway do since I've been around,'' Stewart said. "I don't know what their theory was on that. I thought it helped them to have guys doing both races.'' Gordon said Indy officials should have moved the race to Memorial Day instead of trying to draw viewers on the same day as a NASCAR race. "That would be the better move for the Indy 500,'' said Gordon, a former IRL racer. "Not only would they be the only race on TV that day, but all the NASCAR drivers would have the day off and could consider entering the 500. I really think you'd get a lot more of us in the field if the race was run on Monday. You never know who might give it a try.''(ESPN.com/AP)(2-17-2005)

  • Coca-Cola Racing Family New Anime Ad to Debut During Daytona 500: In the first-ever NASCAR-themed Anime ad, Coca-Cola Racing Family members Tony Stewart, Kyle Petty, Bobby Labonte and Kevin Harvick are seen as animated superheroes engaging in adventurous activities such as scuba diving with sea monsters and flying fighter planes before they return to the track for a Coke and a bit of racing. Breaking during the broadcast of the Daytona 500 on February 20 -- a growing showcase for new advertising -- the 60-second ad, entitled "Fantastic Four," is the only animated spot in the new Coca-Cola "Make It Real" campaign. It will also run in more than 10,000 movie theaters across the country and a 30-second version of the spot will be featured on NASCAR broadcasts throughout the season. The spot concludes with one word -- 'Adrenaline' -- followed by the campaign tagline, 'Make It Real.' The word 'adrenaline' underscores the drivers' energetic attitude both on and off the track. Created by Berlin Cameron / Red Cell, the new 'Make it Real' campaign also includes print and outdoor executions. Additional ads are planned for later in 2005.(Coca-Cola PR)(2-15-2005)

  • Lasoski wants to try NASCAR: World of Outlaws star Danny "the Dude" Lasoski told MRN Radio's Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody he would like to have a shot at NASCAR. "I love World of Outlaws racing but I might have to talk to Tony (Stewart) and see if he can do something for us here next year. These things are challenging to drive and I love a challenge." Lasoski is in Daytona practicing for the Crown Royal International Race Of Champions event February 18th. He also is running Tony Stewart's World of Outlaws sprint car at Volusia Speedway Park, East of Daytona, Friday and Saturday night.(MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway)(2-12-2005)

  • Stewart wins Poker Tournament: #20-Tony Stewart defeated Penske Racing South's Ryan Newman to capture the Michael Waltrip Celebrity Poker Tournament at the Palms Casino, according to a Dodge press release. Twelve participants began playing Monday night in the Texas Hold 'Em event in which each driver played on behalf of his favorite charity, and the field was cut to six for last night's final session. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Casey Mears finished third after going all in against Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-3-2005)
    TV SPEED Channel taped the Michael Waltrip Celebrity Poker Tournament at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas this week for a special to be broadcast at a date to be determined ... will get you more information as dates and times are set. Players in the popular Texas Hold'em tournament included NASCAR's Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Benny Parsons, Casey Mears, Brian Vickers, Ryan Newman, Kyle Petty, Elliott & Hermie Sadler. Speed Channel put up the $100,000 prize money, with half going to Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp through Waltrip's "Operation Marathon" and the other half going to the charity of the winner's choice.(Speed Channel), see images of the drivers at the tourney at RacingWest.com.(2-3-2005)

  • Stewart not happy with the HANS UPDATE 2: #20-Tony Stewart said he is ''not comfortable'' wearing the HANS device, but has no choice. NASCAR made the head-and-neck support system mandatory this season. Stewart had been wearing the less-restrictive Hutchens device, but it's no longer allowed. Stewart initially balked at using even the Hutchens device, but was forced to do it two years ago when NASCAR ordered drivers to use either the Hutchens or the HANS. After further study NASCAR decided the HANS afforded greater protection and announced that starting with next month's Daytona 500 only the HANS can be used.(Tennessean)(1-27-2005)
    UPDATE: After struggling to find a comfort level with the HANS head and neck restraint device over the past couple of weeks, Tony Stewart wishes NASCAR, which has banned the Hutchens restraint device, offered an alternative. Stewart met with HANS co-creator Robert Hubbard last Tuesday to develop a solution but doesn't believe there will be a quick fix.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(1-31-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Not NASCAR but...ARCA sent out a Bulletin that the R3 Head and Neck Restraint from LFT Tech was approved for the 2005 Season giving the drivers a choice in their personal safety systems. The Hutchens Device will be legal through through the 2005 season. The R3 joins the HANS and Hutchens Device in the family of Head and Neck Restraints. Currently the R3 has been accepted in IHRA, NHRA, Hooters Pro Cup, SCCA, IMCA and USAC. NASCAR is currently reviewing the R3 for use in their top touring series. The R3 Head and Neck device was certified to the SFI 38.1 spec back in November at The Delphi Research Center.(2-1-2005)

  • Reggie to be honored: Joe Gibbs Racing's Late Model diversity program will keep its Reggie White Motorsports name in honor of the defensive end who died unexpectedly last month. One of the cars will carry White's #92. "Reggie White was somebody who changed the people around him in a great way," Gibbs said. "He did chapel services for us [at the shop]. I wish I had a chance to coach him."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(1-26-2005)

  • Sadler and Stewart test at Texas: #38-Elliott Sadler and #20-Tony Stewart completed two days of Goodyear tire testing preparing for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Sadler is the defending champion of the race. "This is one of my favorite tracks," said Sadler. "It is like an old jacket you put on, it just feels comfortable when you come here, drive up on pit road to go out on the track." The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will make its first of two 2005 appearances at Texas in the Samsung/RadioShack 500. Tickets are still available at the speedway ticket office, by calling (817) 215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com and at Ticketmaster locations.(TMS PR)(1-20-2005)

  • Why no Stewart in the #20? why #20 testing this week? Tony Stewart's [#20 Home Depot chevy driver] absence was duly noted. Stewart was scheduled to test at Daytona next week [even owners points], but he [and the team] will be doing a Goodyear tire test at Texas instead. Stewart may not be the only star skipping Daytona 500 testing. Kevin Harvick might pass [due in next week]. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli said that the driver really has little to do here, so he's not worried about not having Stewart at the wheel. "We just tested Kentucky, we're going to Texas for two days of testing, then we're going to Vegas and California for more testing this month, and Tony is running in the 24 Hours here," Zipadelli said. "And Tony just ran the Chili Bowl too. So basically we're just giving him a couple of days off."(Winston Salem Journal)(1-12-2005)

2004 News

  • Stewart Wins: Tony Stewart fought off the advances of Dave Darland Wednesday night to win the Midget feature event in the "Rumble in Fort Wayne" at the Fort Wayne, Indiana - Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. Stewart started second in the 60 lap race, took the lead on the 14th lap and never looked back. The top-ten finishers were: 1. Tony Stewart, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Rich Corson, 4. Tony Elliott, 5. Mel Kenyon, 6. Aaron Pierce, 7. David Thompson, 8. Derek Bischak, 9. Doug Cross, 10.(Insider Racing News)(12-30-2004)

  • Gibbs announces own oil: on Dec 9th at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Joe Gibbs Performance announced the introduction of Joe Gibbs Performance Brand Racing Oil, the same synthetic racing oil used by Joe Gibbs Racing and two time Champion engine builder Mark Cronquist. "Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil delivers un-compromised power, protection and performance for our race cars at every level of competition," said J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Over the past five years we have invested substantial resources in developing our own racing oil and now racers at every level can use the oil we use in all our race engines." Used in every Joe Gibbs Racing engine since 1999, Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil puts five years of R&D and championship proven performance in the hands of professional engine builders and local racers throughout the United States. "We looked for a product that could provide the wear protection we needed without sacrificing horsepower," said Mark Cronquist. "We were not pleased with the performance of the racing oils that were on the market, so we contracted a world leader in lubrication technology to custom blend synthetic oils to meet our extreme needs. We designed Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil to control valve train wear in our flat tappet Nextel Cup engines. Before we developed Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil, we were seeing wear in the valve train that kept us from being as aggressive as we wanted to be. Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil solved our valve train wear problems, and we've seen significant horsepower and torque gains when we've tested Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil against other race oils." Now, engine builders and racers across the United States can now use the same racing oil that Cronquist himself relies on to power Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart's NASCAR Nextel Cup race cars. Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil will be available for shipment in mid December and can be purchased direct from Joe Gibbs Racing or through CV Products. For more information or to place an order, visit www.joegibbsracingoil.com. Orders can also be placed by calling 866-611-1820 or contact CV Products.(JGR PR)(12-17-2004)

  • Jar for Stewart's pilot stolen: When the wait staff at Anapa's Country House learned that one of their favorite customers, an Army reservist, was killed in a plane crash in October, they decided to put out a collection jug to raise money for the man's wife and three teenage children. However, the good deed was ruined this week when a thief took off with the jug and the hundreds of dollars in it. According to Patricia Napa, co-owner of the restaurant on South Pemberton Road, someone stole the collection jug Tuesday morning between 7:30 and 8, shortly after the restaurant opened. The jug had been sitting by the cash register for weeks after the wait staff learned Scott Lathram, 38, an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Reserve, had been killed in an airplane crash in late October. Lathram, along with other soldiers, had eaten at Anapa's almost every night for weeks this fall while stationed at Fort Dix and had befriended the wait staff. The wait staff originally collected about $110 in change in the jug, which they sent to the family in Kentucky about a month ago. Over the past few weeks, the jug had been refilled and contained several ten and twenty-dollar bills and a lot of change. Napa said police were never contacted about the theft because they felt, with no suspects, there was little police could do to solve the crime. In civilian life, Lathram was the helicopter pilot for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Tony Stewart. Lathram was killed Oct. 24 when an airplane in which he was a passenger crashed into a foggy mountainside in Virginia. The plane, owned by Hendrick Motorsports, was carrying 10 people to the NASCAR Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Stewart was not aboard. Another collection jug for Lathram's family would be set up at the restaurant in a matter of days. A trust fund has been set up for Lathram's wife, Tracey, and their three children. Contributions can be sent to Scott Lathram Memorial Fund, c/o Heritage Bank, P.O. Box 525, Benton, KY, 42025.(Burlington County Times)(12-15-2004)

  • Stewart's Benefit Concert a Success: Friends of Tony Stewart help to raise $276,235.00 at a benefit concert held in the newly constructed Luther F. Carson Four Rivers center in Paducah, Ky. Head liner was Diamond Rio, along with Trace Adkins. Drivers that particapated in the event were Tony Stewart, Kyle Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Danny Lasoski. The event was Presented By: Bass Pro Shops & Hultman Inc.(10-8-2004)
  • Stewart Concert on TV: The Tony Stewart Foundation Benefit Concert, which was held Oct.6 and featured Diamond Rio and Trace Adkins, will be televised Oct 24th: 5pm; Oct. 27: 3pm; Oct. 29: 11pm; Oct. 30: 3pm; Oct. 31: 11pm on the Great American Country channel [www.gactv.com]. The concert raised more than $270,000 for charity.(Richmond Times Dispatch), Check local listings, the Great American Country is channel #326 on DirecTV as part of the Total Plus Package.(10-23-2004)


    Tony Stewart being presented a check from Greg Hultman Owner of Hultman Inc. of Paducah, Ky.(Photo by Tim Parks)


  • Stewart donates his portion of USG Person of the Year award: #20-Tony Stewart was recognized for his philanthropy by being named NASCAR's 2004 USG Person of theYear. The award, presented to Stewart Dec. 3 at the National Motorsports Press Association's Myers Brothers Breakfast in New York City, is designed to honor NASCAR drivers for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. The annual award carried a $100,000 payment, which was to be split between the winning driver and his charity of choice. However, Stewart once again showcased his charitable compassion by donating the entire amount to Kyle and Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp, a facility for chronically ill children located in Randleman, NC.(DMF Communications PR)(12-10-2004)

  • Tony Stewart Named Fourth Quarter NASCAR USG Person of the Year: Its not often that an event can benefit so many people, but thats exactly what a benefit concert hosted by the Tony Stewart Foundation did this summer, raising over $270,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, the Easter Seals West Kentucky, the Dream Factory-Paducah Chapter and the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center. For his efforts, Stewart has been named the 2004 Fourth Quarter NASCAR USG Person of the Year.
    "It's an honor to be selected as the fourth-quarter winner, said Stewart. This is a special award, because it's not about what you do on the race track, it's about what you do with your heart. I know that the previous winners of this award were some very deserving people, and to join them means a tremendous amount to me."
    Stewart created his Foundation in 2003 to assist groups caring for chronically ill children and drivers injured in motorsports, as well as to support other charitable organizations in the protection of animals. Other charities the Foundation supports include the Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Indiana Special Olympics, Greyrescue (Greyhound Rescue Organization) and Charlotte (N.C.) Metropolitan Zoo.
    USG (United States Gypsum), a promotional partner of NASCAR, is in its second year as sponsor of the NASCAR USG Person of the Year program. The award is designed to honor drivers not only for their accomplishments on the track, but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts.
    To determine the NASCAR USG Person of the Year Award winner, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season is divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track efforts. A select group of panelists chooses one of the four quarterly finalists as the NASCAR USG Person of the Year. This award will be presented the week of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his/her choice.
    Other notable nominees were Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton. Gordon was the first quarter nominee, Elliott Sadler the second quarter nominee and Dale Jarrett was the third quarter nominee.
    In addition to the NASCAR USG Person of the Year, USG also sponsors the Driver of the Race Award, which goes to the eligible winning driver of each of the 36 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship events. Each USG Driver of the Race Award winner receives $2,500 with an additional $2,500 going to the charity of his/her choice.(NASCAR PR)(11-25-2004)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Edges Earnhardt Jr.'s Crew For Season Title, $200,000 Champion's Bonus: The pit crew for Tony Stewart captured the season title in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. The #20 Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing crew will collect a $200,000 champion's bonus from McDonald's/POWERade, Dec. 3 in New York City. By winning the weekly competition three times and earning $20,000 for each victory, the total prize money earned in 2004 by Stewart's crew was $260,000. In the 36-race competition, Stewart's crew defeated the pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. by a mere four points - 1262 to 1258. Earnhardt's crew won the inaugural McDonald's/POWERade championship in 2003. Elliott Sadler's crew, a seven-time weekly winner, finished third with 1248 points. The crew for Nextel Cup champion, Kurt Busch, was fourth (1240) and Kevin Harvick's crew rounded out the top five (1222). "I think it's awesome that my guys won the McDonald's/POWERade pit crew championship," said Stewart. "They've worked hard all year, in the gym and at the race track. And when track position was tough to come by, they gave it to me with fast pit stops. My guys definitely earned this championship."
    Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Chuck White (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Mike Lingerfelt (front-tire changer), Jody Fortson (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff "Gooch" Patterson (gas man) and Brian Larson (catch can). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa.(DMF Commincations PR)(11-24-2004), for the season standings see my Pit Crew News/Awards page.

  • Stewart not happy with penalty: #20-Tony Stewart had plenty reason to be upset about Sunday after a questionable penalty for ''disobeying a NASCAR directive'' dropped him from first to 25th on Lap 170, then a miscalculation by his pit crew left him short on fuel four miles from the finish. After climbing out of his car, Stewart had an angry exchange with members of his team, who immediately surrounded the driver to shield him from fans and photographers. As Stewart unclipped his protective harness and pulled off his gloves and other parts of his fire suit, he threw them angrily against the car. ''I'm just upset,'' said Stewart, who needed several minutes to regain his composure. Stewart, who led three times Sunday, lost two of those advantages coming out of cautions, the first when NASCAR officials said he failed to maintain ''a smooth and consistent speed'' before a restart on Lap 170, and the second when his car, desperate for gas, nearly stopped in front of eventual winner #16-Greg Biffle just after the green flag dropped for the final dash to the finish. ''I was lucky I didn't get run over,'' said Stewart, who finished sixth in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. ``I don't know [what happened]. I don't do fuel mileage. I just drive. I can't launch the space shuttle or anything else. I just drive, all right?'' As for the black-flag penalty, which forced the #20 Home Depot Chevy into the pits, Stewart had even less explanation. ''I'm kind of curious myself right now as to what that penalty was all about,'' said Stewart, who repeatedly has run afoul of NASCAR officials in his short six-year career. ``I'm going to talk to [NASCAR president] Mike Helton. I'm going to find that out myself.''(Miami Herald)(11-22-2004)

  • Zippy Sick..but gutting it out: Greg Zipadelli, #20-Tony Stewart's crew chief, is painfully ill with an excruciating spleen ailment, but Zipadelli is here this weekend working on Stewart's car. Zipadelli is ignoring doctors who want him in bed for four to six weeks of rest.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-20-2004)

  • Stewart Buys A Race Track after years of rumors........Tony Stewart has purchased Eldora Speedway from legendary owner Earl Baltes. Known as "Auto Racing's Showcase since 1954" thanks in large part to Baltes' vision and hands-on management, Eldora is a half-mile clay oval with an estimated seating capacity of nearly 20,000 that features some of the most prominent racing divisions in the country. "Eldora was a premiere racing facility long before I started racing there in 1991, and it's our goal to build on the tradition Earl and his wife Berneice started back in 1954," said Stewart, whose new role as a track owner augments his team ownership in the World of Outlaws and USAC racing series. "Eldora has been extremely successful for both its competitors and its fans. We have no intention of changing the look and feel of the race track. We want to maintain the Eldora experience fans have grown to love and appreciate over the years."
    Signature events pioneered by Baltes will also continue. The World 100, The Dirt Late Model Dream, the King's Royal, the Mopar Thunder, the Eldora Clash, the USAC Buckeye Nationals and the UMP National Championship will all return in 2005, as will its regular order of weekly racing action. And while not yet official, the 2005 racing schedule will be similar in scope to the 2004 calendar. Ticket information will remain available on www.eldoraspeedway.com or by calling (937) 338-3815.
    With Baltes' retirement, Stewart has named Larry Kemp as promoter and general manager and Larry Boos as director of facility and race day operations. Kemp comes to Eldora after having served as an owner, promoter and general manager of several local race tracks dating back to 1980. The Vinton, Iowa, native has held management positions at many of his home state tracks including 34 Raceway in Burlington, Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids and Benton County Speedway in Vinton. He most recently served as the promoter and general manager of Montgomery (Ala.) Motor Speedway. Throughout his motorsports career he has received such accolades as the "Regional Promoter of the Year" in 1984, 1986, 1997 and 1998 as well as the 1998 "Auto Racing Promoter of the Year" by the RPM (Racing Promotion Monthly) Promoter's Workshop. Outside of track management, Kemp has also promoted and operated the IMCA Florida Series from 1979 to 1986, developed the NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour for dirt late models in 1983, originated the IMCA Late Model Summer Series in 1985 and operated the McLeod Gold Star Series for asphalt late models from 1997 to 1999. "With the experienced staff we've put in place we're extremely confident we can follow in Earl's successful footsteps," said Stewart. "The history of Eldora is alive and well and no one wants to see this race track flourish more than me. Everyone can rest assured that Eldora is in good hands."(True Speed Communication PR)(11-19-2004)

  • Personnel Chnages at JGR? Pink slips were handed out to several crew members at Joe Gibbs Racing last week, leading some to wonder where the manpower to run three [#11,#18,#20] teams in 2005 will come from.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(10-18-2004)

  • NASCAR Looking at Stewart-Bliss Scuffle UPDATE 2 No Penalties: NASCAR officials confirmed Sunday they are investigating a confrontation between drivers Tony Stewart and Mike Bliss that took place following Saturday's Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway. The incident involved Stewart and Bliss as well as several others, said NASCAR vice president for corporate communications Jim Hunter. "There was apparently a little incident in a truck hauler after the Busch race and we're going to continue to look into it," he said. "We had some discussions (Sunday). It's a Busch issue. We'll decide what to do  if anything  after we have more details on what took place." Hunter characterized the episode as a "minor incident amongst teammates, I might add." Stewart and Bliss both drive for Joe Gibbs Racing, but Stewart was driving an entry for Chance2 Motorsports in the Busch race Saturday. The two traded several bumps on the track during the race. Stewart, Bliss, JGR president J.D. Gibbs and Stewart's Nextel Cup crew chief, Greg Zipadelli made trips to the NASCAR hauler Sunday morning. Gibbs stopped briefly to speak to reporters after his meeting. "We talked about some stuff that happened yesterday and I think we got it cleared up," he said. "We'll probably have to address it again this week some more and then move on." Hunter said he didn't want to get into the details of the incident, because NASCAR had yet to speak with some witnesses who were not at the track Sunday. Hunter said if a points penalty were involved as a result of NASCAR's investigation, it would only involve Busch points. Stewart is currently one of 10 drivers competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. "In my opinion, it was something that carried over from the race track where tempers were involved and in the end, a lot of strong words and that sort of thing," Hunter said.(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND Nextel Cup driver Tony Stewart was required to get a checkup at Kansas Speedway's infield care center Sunday morning because he failed to stay there for one Saturday after his late-race wreck with Joe Nemechek. Hunter said Stewart had to have the checkup before he was allowed to race in Sunday's Banquet 400.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-10-2004)
    UPDATE: According to observers this is what happened: On the track, Bliss was a couple of laps down and Stewart was the race leader when a caution flag came out. Stewart was coming up on Bliss, and Bliss waved him to pass on the inside, a wave that Stewart apparently missed. When Bliss held his high line, Stewart angrily popped him. That angered Bliss, who popped him back. The two traded a few more bumps and obscene gestures before the race resumed. After the race, Stewart waited in Bliss' trailer to talk with him. The exchange became heated, and Stewart punched Bliss, wrestled him to the floor of the trailer and threw at least three more punches, according to witnesses.(more at Winston Salem Journal)(10-11-2004)
    UPDATE 2 - No Penalties: NASCAR has elected not to penalize Tony Stewart or Mike Bliss in connection with a confrontation between the two that followed last weekend's Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway, spokesman Mike Zizzo said Wednesday. After reviewing the incident, NASCAR officials determined it to be "an internal team matter" within the Joe Gibbs Racing operation, Zizzo said.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-13-2004)

  • What Happened Between Gordon and Stewart? from a True Speed Communication PR [from Stewart's side] -- The ever-competitive driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet was far from thrilled with his sixth-place effort in Sunday's MBNA America 400 at Dover's high-banked, 1-mile oval. Part of his frustration stemmed from having an ill-handling race car, while another part came via Robby Gordon. Gordon, who intentionally spun Greg Biffle last Sunday at New Hampshire to trigger a multi-car accident that consumed Stewart, again used questionable judgment at Dover. On a lap 22 restart, Gordon inexplicably drove his car to the outside of Stewart in turns three and four before officially taking the green. And when Gordon ran out of race track while coming off turn four, he clipped the right front corner of Stewart's nose, altering the #20's aerodynamics. With 378 laps still remaining, it was a case of premature aggression. Stewart quickly put the incident and Gordon behind him with a convincing pass through turns one and two. And throughout the race Gordon would remain in Stewart's rearview mirror, as he wound up finishing 30th, 15 laps off the pace.(True Speed Communication PR)
    AND Stewart, wrecked out of the New Hampshire race last weekend by Robby Gordon, tangled with him briefly again early in Sunday's race. The two traded bumps, with Stewart finally getting by Gordon. Stewart was none too happy after the race and paid NASCAR officials a visit to complain about Gordon's conduct. Asked what he felt like after the race, Stewart replied: "Kicking Robby Gordon's butt, to be honest. It's racing."(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND II "Tell him to come on over," Gordon responded. "Or, here, give him my phone number and tell him 'Anytime.'"(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2004)

  • No More Indy 500-Coca Cola 600 doubles? The Indianapolis 500, which in 2005 will be held for the 89th time, will begin at 12:00noon/ct [1:00pm/et] on May 29 after starting at 11:00am/ct [12:00noon/et] the past 41 years. Track officials said the switch is seen as a way to improve television ratings that have sagged in recent years. Other changes include a new four-day qualifying formet with bumping each day, less practice time and moving Carburetion Day to the Friday before the race.(Indianapolis Star/IMS Site), with the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway starting around 5:30pm/et the smae day, it may be near impossible for a driver [such as Robby Gordon or Tony Stewart] do the Indy 500/Coke 600 double, running both races in the same day.(9-15-2004)

  • Home Depot to donate $200 a lap UPDATE: Saturday night's Sharpie 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway marks the 200th Nextel Cup start for Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart's 199 previous starts have all come while driving for the #20 team, and in honor of the team's 200th start, The Home Depot is pledging $200 for every lap Stewart leads in the Sharpie 500. And regardless of how the race unfolds, The Home Depot will donate a minimum of $20,000 to the Tony Stewart Foundation. Established in August of 2003, the Tony Stewart Foundation was created to raise funds for future donation to groups caring for chronically ill children and drivers injured in motorsports activities, as well as to support other charitable organizations in the protection of various animal species. Charities actively supported by the Foundation include the Ronald McDonald House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Indiana Special Olympics, Greyrescue (Greyhound Rescue Organization), the Charlotte (N.C.) Metropolitan Zoo, and Kyle & Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp, where last October the Foundation announced a $1 million pledge. For more information, visit www.tonystewart.com.(JGR PR/True Speed Communication)(8-27-2004)
    AND no laps led, so it'll be $20,000....thanks.(8-29-2004)

  • #200 for Stewart: #20-Tony Stewart will make his 200th career NASCAR Nextel Cup start when he runs the race this weekend at Bristol. In 199 starts, Stewart has 19 wins [9.6%], 75 top 5's, 118 top 10's and 7 poles.(8-26-2004)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Scores Big At Watkins Glen: It was a double win for the #20 Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing Team Sunday at Watkins Glen International. Not only did driver Tony Stewart capture the win on the 2.45-mile road course, but his pit crew also came away with a victory -- taking top honors and $20,000 in the weekly McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. It was the third victory of the season for Stewart's crew, which has claimed $60,000 in prize money and is in position to contend for the $200,000 season champion's bonus. In the McDonald's/POWERade pit crew standings -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew regained the #1 spot with 800 points, six more than the second place crew for Elliott Sadler. Stewart's crew sits in third with 774 points. Earnhardt's crew placed sixth at Watkins Glen and earned 38 standing points. Sadler's crew, which held the points lead the past two weeks, picked up 27 points with a 17th-place finish. Stewart's Home Depot Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on the Watkins Glen pit road -- 77.743 seconds. Coming in second was Kurt Busch's #97 IRWIN Ford with a time of 89.704 seconds. Third was Casey Mears' #41 Target Dodge at 90.476. "These guys have never given up on me no matter what has happened. I'm never giving up on them," said Stewart, who battled severe stomach cramps for much of the 90-lap race. "With a car like we had at Watkins Glen and the pit stops my guys gave me, I wasn't going to take a win away from those guys knowing we had a car capable of winning the race." Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Chuck White (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Mike Lingerfelt (front-tire changer), Jay Barry (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff "Gooch" Patterson (gas man) and Brian Larson (catch can). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa.(DMF Communications PR), for the top 10 at Watkins Glen and season standings, see my Pit Crew Page, past results on my Pit Crew 2004 past news page.(8-19-2004)

  • Stewart to run Olympics scheme at MIS: This year the 2004 summer Olympics will be held in Athens, Greece, the birthplace of the modern and ancient Olympic games. Excited to support the U.S. Olympic athletes, Home Depot has renewed its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympics and Paralympics Teams through 2008. For the second time on the NASCAR circuit Tony Stewart will be racing his #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet to support this legendary athletic competition. To commemorate the 2004 Athens Olympics, Stewart's special paint scheme will feature the Olympic logo and graphics at the August 22nd race in Michigan.(Sunday Hauler) and see an image on my #20 Team Paint Schemes pages.(6-18-2004)
    UPDATE: The #20 Home Depot Chevrolet of Tony Stewart will sport an Olympic paint scheme at this weekend's GFS Marketplace 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The car will feature images of athletes participating in the Olympic Job Opportunities Program (OJOP) who are currently representing the United States and Canada at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The athletes featured on the car are weightlifter Tara Cunningham, javelin thrower Erica Wheeler, Paralympic swimmer Kirby Cote, volleyball player Jeff Nygaard and track & field participants Melissa Morrison and Mark Crear. Of the current athletes on the United States, Canadian and Puerto Rican Olympic and Paralympic Teams, 71 of them are associates of The Home Depot. And through OJOP, The Home Depot allows Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls to work part time to accommodate their busy training and competition schedules while receiving full-time compensation and benefits to help offset their expenses. "It's an honor to have these athletes on our Home Depot Chevrolet this weekend at Michigan," said Stewart, winner of the series' most recent race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.). "They are the embodiment of hard work and perseverance. They've made a ton of sacrifices to get to the Olympics, and this entire race team is behind them 100 percent. While they're going for the gold in Athens, we'll be going for another checkered flag in Michigan."(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(8-18-2004)

  • Stewart wins at Watkins Glen: #20-Tony Stewart, suffering from leg cramps and an upset stomach, gutted it out and won the Sirius @ the Glen at Watkins Glen International, his 2nd win of 2004 [Chicago], his 2nd win at Watkins Glen, his 3rd road course win and 19th career win. Stewart didn't give a victory lane interview as a cart was waiting for him to take him back to his trailer. #1-Ron Fellows ended up 2nd after starting 43rd, the rest of the top five were #6-Mark Martin, #41-Casey Mears [his best career finish] and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. #31-Robby Gordon's brakes went away at the end and he finished 16th, #24-Jeff Gordon lost all but 4th gear with around 10 laps to go and finished 21st. Points leader, #48-Jimmie Johnson lost an engine early and ended up 40th and with Gordon finishing 21st, Johnson keeps the points lead, but just by 40 points and #-Earnhardt Jr. closed up to 128 points behind.
    For race results, see:
    JAYSKI's Watkins Glen Race Results / Awards page
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.(8-15-2004)

  • Stewart finished 8th in sports car race: Despite Tony Stewart's torrid rush to the front of the field early from a 15th place starting spot, he and Andy Wallace dealt with a tire problem and finished eighth, one lap down in the Sahlen's 200 sports car race at Watkins Glen.(Corning Leader)(8-14-2004)

  • Special Tony Stewart Monte Carlo: Chevrolet will pay tribute to one of NASCAR's recent champions with the introduction of the 2005 Tony Stewart Signature Series Monte Carlo. The limited edition vehicle is the 10th NASCAR-inspired Monte Carlo that Chevrolet has created over the last five years. "We are delighted to announce the latest edition to the Signature Series Monte Carlo line as an on-going effort to recognize NASCAR and Chevy's past and present driving stars," said Jim Campbell, director of car marketing for Chevrolet. "The Tony Stewart Signature Series Monte Carlo is a perfect way to honor Tony's success on and off the race track." The Tony Stewart Signature Series will be a black supercharged Monte Carlo built with many elements of Stewart's No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet subtly incorporated into the vehicle. The exterior of the vehicle is modeled closely after Stewart's night race paint scheme with an all black body complimented by Stewart's signature displayed on the sail panel and No. 20 graphics and Home Depot orange accents prominently lining the bottom trim of the vehicle. A Joe Gibbs Racing signature badge is also displayed on the rear decklid. The attention to custom detailing is also prevalent within the interior of the Monte Carlo with Stewart's signature embroidered on the head restraints, displayed on the door sill plates and positioned within the gauge cluster. The gauge cluster also contains orange-outlined white numerals in the same typeface as exterior graphics and Stewart's signature while both front seats are accented with orange French seams.
    Beyond a unique design concept, the Monte Carlo maintains its powerful supercharged 3800 V6 engine, delivering 240 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft of torque. Other features include a heavy-duty four speed automatic transmission, sport front bucket seats with Ebony leather seating surfaces, a racing-inspired grill and 17-inch black-accented diamond-cut cast aluminum wheels. A total of 1,020 units of the Tony Stewart Signature Series Monte Carlo will be available later this year. Pricing has not yet been announced. "I am honored to be recognized as a part of an elite group of Chevrolet drivers and NASCAR champions," said Tony Stewart. "The Signature Series Monte Carlo is a unique way to promote the sport of NASCAR while also raising money for many important charities through The Tony Stewart Foundation."
    Chevrolet will make a donation from the sale of the Tony Stewart Signature Series Monte Carlo to The Tony Stewart Foundation, a private, non-profit corporation which focuses on raising and donating funds to help care for chronically ill children, drivers injured in motorsport activities and to help other charitable organizations.(GM PR) thanks WMS.(8-13-2004)

  • Stewart to run sports car race at Watkins Glen: #20-Tony Stewart will co-drive a Citgo-sponsored Pontiac-Crawford Daytona Prototype with Andy Wallace Friday at Watkins Glen International. Stewart, who nearly won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in February with Wallace and Dale Earnhardt Jr., will be making his third Rolex Series start of the season Friday, and fifth overall. The former Indy Racing League champ has finished third three times in the series, but believes The Glen's 2.45-mile short course could present a challenge. "It's going to take a little longer to get used to Watkins Glen, I believe," Stewart said. "When I first started driving sports cars a couple of years ago, it was at Daytona with the Crawfords (Max and Jan) in an open-cockpit car. All of the track time I've had in (closed-cockpit) Daytona Prototype cars is at Daytona in a Crawford car. So, the learning curve may take a little longer at Watkins Glen." Wallace has won each of endurance racing's crown jewels - Daytona, Sebring, Le Mans and Watkins Glen - and normally drives with Milka Duno. Wallace and Duno won at Homestead in March.(Corning Leader)(8-12-2004)

  • Remember Stewart vs. the Photographer? AND the reporter? #20-Tony Stewart's friendship with freelance photographer Gary Mook has continued. The two were involved in an incident following the 2002 Brickyard 400, when Stewart punched Mook. They have met several times since and enjoyed a quiet moment outside Stewart's transporter Sunday morning.(Indianapolis Star)(8-9-2004)
    AND Remember Stewart vs. the Reporter? Tony Stewart's friendship with reporter Mike Mulhern of the Winston Salem Journal has continued. The two were involved in an incident following the 2001 Pepsi 400, when Stewart slapped a tape recorder out of Mulhern's hand. They have met several times since and are enjoying a quiet trip to the Knoxville Nationals this week.(8-10-2004)

  • Tony Stewart concerned about his father's career: Nelson Stewart, the 66-year-old father of Tony Stewart, made his USAC Silver Crown spring car debut last weekend at Milwaukee. He finished 31st of 34 drivers. "I haven't exactly been supportive of that," Tony said. "I'm not sure he should be doing it, and I'm concerned about his safety. But they said they couldn't wipe the grin off his face all day."(Dallas Morning News)(7-30-2004)

  • Stewart Welcomes 3-car Team; Talks to Kahne also: #20-Tony Stewart is not concerned about dwindling resources at Joe Gibbs Racing if the team adds a third Nextel Cup team for the 2005 season. The team currently fields a pair of Chevrolets for Bobby Labonte and Stewart. You dont have to have three times the equipment, Stewart said. A lot of times you can utilize the same resources and not necessarily have to have so many extras. If you have adequate resources to start with I think it helps. If youre a team that doesnt have enough funding to begin with it can be a distraction and take away from the effort. Regarding the addition of a driver, Stewart doesnt have a preference between a veteran and a rookie. Theres pros and cons to having a veteran, and theres pros and cons to having a rookie. It could really go either way. You could have a rookie and do just fine or you could have a veteran and do just fine. The 2002 series champion also says that he had a phone conversation with Kasey Kahne today, discussed their Ju! ly 11 coming together at Chicagoland Speedway and that theres no problems between Kasey and I. It was a very productive phone call.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-27-2004)

  • Stewart / Foyt wreck at Indy - are OK: NASCAR drivers #20-Tony Stewart and #52-Larry Foyt, in the Ware Racing Dodge, crashed today -- but neither was hurt -- during testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for next month's Brickyard 400. Stewart returned to the track in a different car. Stewart, fourth in the Nextel Cup driver standings, damaged the right rear of his car when he hit the wall in the second turn. Foyt hit the wall in the first turn, damaging the car's right side. He did not return to the track because his team brought only one car for the session leading to the Aug. 8 race.(Indianapolis Star/AP)(7-20-2004)

  • Home Depot Supports Stewart: Home Depot, the Atlanta-based worldwide chain of home improvement stores ran full-page newspaper ads last week celebrating Stewart's win in the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, and a statement from the company seems to indicate Stewart's post-race run-in at Sonoma, Calif., with Brian Vickers isn't a big concern. NASCAR fined Stewart $50,000, docked him 25 Nextel Cup points and put him on probation for grabbing Vickers, but he's received no penalties for several on-track incidents other drivers have blamed him for this season. Home Depot spokesman Eric Oberman issued only a brief statement in response to the recent events. "The Home Depot supports Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR in their response to recent incidents involving Tony Stewart," the statement read.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-17-2004)

  • Words from Tony - NOT going to DEI...: in an interview with XM Radio's Claire B. Lang, Tony Stewart answered some questions:

    On Talking To Kasey:(he's going to call him but hasn't yet) "I'm gonna call him and ask him what happened. You know it's easy to stand on the sidelines or watch on TV and say, 'Yea, he ran right over him,' but the only people who know what happened are Kasey and myself and, I don't even know what happened. I just know that for some reason his car checked up in front of us and we had contact and like I said' at that part of the race track, that wasn't the best place to have that happen by any means. We could have got taken out just as easy as he got taken out there but I definitely will call him and find out you know for two reasons. One to let him know that hey I truly did not mean for that to happen and second to find out what happened, what was the reason the car checked up."

    Should he have eased up on Kasey on the restart: "Nobody gives anybody a break, not as competitive as this series is. Especially as competitive a place as Chicago. track position is very, very important there, the situation we were in there was no where that I could go. It wasn't a situation where I could push him forward and make things better. Daytona and Talladega tracks like that you can push each other and help each other out but that wasn't a situation where that was going to help because Kasey had somebody who was in front of him so, There really wasn't anything to gain from it. Getting that one spot from Sterling (Marlin) that was huge that put us into second spot right away and the only guy we were racing for position at that point was Kasey so you know getting by the lapped cars and getting by the cars that were at the tail end of the lead lap was something that was very important at that point but you know it's not something that you can sit back and have the luxury, if you take it easy three or four guys are going to drive by you because they know it's important to get everything you can get when everyone is grouped up like that.

    Should Kasey have signaled if he had slow restart problems? "In Kasey's defense if he had a problem it's impossible for him to signal, you're in crowded quarters right there and if he was shifting and missed a shift he doesn't have time to signal so he's still trying to get the thing in gear so you know whatever happened it was something that he was trying to figure out the problem at the same time and it makes it impossible so in his defense it's hard for him to signal when you have a problem like that in that amount of time."

    On talk that Joe Gibbs departure has affected his attitude: "Look at all the other stuff that's happened in my career. Joe was always there then so what's different now. Joe's still around the race team. Don't be fooled into thinking that Joe's not a phone call away and Joe still talks to us quite a bit. Yet his presence isn't at the race shop every day but he's still in contact with Bobby and I and the crew chiefs and his son. J.D. (Gibbs) is just a younger Joe, .J.D. runs that race team just like his father did and I respect J.D. as much as I respect his father so there's no substance to that. It's people that are speculating."

    On the consistent rumor of him wanting to leave the sport and that he's causing riffs to get released:
    "I like what I do. Is there a lot of headaches and hassles? Sure there is but we're at the top form of racing in the United States and with that you're going to have hassles and headaches but you know the one thing that Joe Gibbs has always told me and especially with some of the cases that have happened in the past he goes, 'If you ever get to the situation that you don't want to be here anymore let me know.' If I didn't want to be there I'd call Joe right now and say, 'Joe I've had enough of this I'm ready to go do something else and we would work it out.' If I didn't want to be here I wouldn't have to go to the extent of causing problems to do that. I mean I want to win another championship. If it were up to me I'd try to win five more championships in the next five years so no it's not true. I love what I do I love my race team. Greg Zipadelli is like a big brother to me, it would be hard to not race with him, It's just not true."

    On continuous rumors that he has his eye on DEI and wants to get out of Gibbs: "Yea. I love it. Claire every time you hear something like that write it down because it's probably the most amusing thing that I hear. I mean I've been with Joe Gibbs racing since I started in the Busch series and Bobby Labonte's probably the best team mate you could ask for. I love driving for Joe Gibbs Racing..I love the guys there I mean the team I mean it's the best group of guys. We can start sentences and the guys can finish it or they start sentences and I can finish it. It would be crazy to leave Joe Gibbs racing now especially after we've won a championship with them so people if they would sit back and think about what they say before they say it like I need to stop and do sometimes and think of the common sense side of it, questions like that answer themselves when you sit back and think about it."(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 144)(7-14-2004)

  • NASCAR....Stewart/Kahne = racing incident: NASCAR spokesman Herb Branham said officials considered the #20-Tony Stewart / #9-Kasey Kahne accident a "racing incident and nothing more," and if a penalty was required, it would have been assessed during the race. Branham said that NASCAR was reviewing the pit-road brawl. "If any penalties results, they will be announced later this week."(many sources) all kinds of columns with quotes and comments from all involved on my Article/Column/Story links page.(7-12-2004)

  • Stewart wins at Chicagoland: #20-Tony Stewart won the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in a backup car, his first win of 2004 and first since his win at Lowe's Motor Speedway last October, 22 races wins ago. It is Stewart's 18th career win. The big controvery came after the 4th caution on lap 127, when #9-Kahne was leading, with Stewart starting 3rd behind #40-Marlin, passed Marlin after the restart on the outside and cam up to the rear of Kahne, who seemed to checkup and Stewart didn't, Stewart hit Kahne in the rear bumber, who spun and hit head-on into the turn one wall. A bit of a brawl then ensued on pit road between the #9 and #20 crews, sending the #20 car chief to the infield care center for scapes and minor injuries. A few #9 crewmen tried to make their way to victory lane, but were not allowed in security. The rest of the top five were #48-Jimmie Johnson, #88-Dale Jarrett, #24-Jeff Gordon [was at one point a lap down and way off the pace] and #19-Jeremy Mayfield.
    The Stewart-Kahne incident as reported by ThatsRacin.com: Rookie Kasey Kahne was leading on the restart on Lap 127, but the first car in line because several cars were on the tail end of the lead lap and lined up ahead of Kahne. Stewart was second, Sterlin Marlin third [after the pass], Jeremy Mayfield fourth and Jimmie Johnson fifth. As the cars took the green flag, Stewart moved to the outside to pass [Marlin] and ran up on Kahne, hitting him from behind. Kahne went into the wall, which triggered an eight-car wreck and placed the race back under caution. The crews of Kahne and Stewart began scuffling on pit road, causing NASCAR to call Kahne's crew chief, Tommy Baldwin, and Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, to be called to the hauler. Baldwin made one visit while the race continued on. Kahne's owner, Ray Evernham, was incensed NASCAR issued no penalty for Stewart's action. He argued with NASCAR officials over the lack of penalty as the race restarted. "That's just Tony Stewart doing what he's been doing all year, driving like a moron, you know? There's no reason to do that stuff," Baldwin said. "He gets away with it all he wants, and all NASCAR does is fine him. He's got plenty of money. The guy needs to sit out a race."
    Race Re-Air: Speed Channel, Wednesday, July 14th at 3:00pm/et.
    Race Rundown on Jayski's Chicago Race Info/Rundown page.
    Race Results at:
    Jayski's Chicago Race Results from NASCAR
    ThatsRacin.com
    Motorsports One
    NASCAR.com.(7-11-2004)

  • Tornado Hits Stewart's WoO shop: Mother Nature has been a thorn in the side of many of the World of Outlaw teams these past few weeks with all the cancelled events due to rain. Things elevated to another level for the Tony Stewart Motorsports team early Sunday morning when a tornado hit the Lasoski Racing shop located Southeast of Higginsville, MO. The full extent of the damage is not known at this time but included structural damage to the building and shop equipment. The most important thing is nobody was hurt and we are very thankful of that, said Tony Ross, team manager for Lasoski/Stewart Motorsports. The tornado blew off part of the roof and blew every door off the shop. We are looking at four to six weeks before the structural damage can be repaired. We do not know the full extent of the damage just yet but we know we hurt some cars, top wings, and trophies and put a gouge in the hauler. It also blew a tree into the main part of the shop. We are really fortunate because it could have been so much worse than it was. Everything that was damaged can be replaced. Danny, Chris, Hope and Landon were all in the house just a few hundred yards away and luckily they were not hurt, said Ross. None of the guys were at the shop when the tornado hit. I hate to think of what would have happened if anybody d been here when it hit. Most of the damage was on the side where we keep the racecars. It is a very unfortunate deal, but we can buy more racecars and we are lucky it wasnt worse. Jimmy Carr and Todd Splain were able to leave in the hauler as scheduled Monday for the upcoming events at Husets Speedway in Brandon, SD and Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo, ND.(Danny Lasoski site)(7-6-2004)

  • WIX working JGR on a cabin air filtration system: WIX Filters Inc., is working with Joe Gibbs Racing to develop a cabin air filtration system that can remove everything from carbon monoxide to dust, rubber and noxious fumes from the air breathed by drivers. "A few teams have tried to come up with their own (air filtration) system, but the deal for us was the safety of our drivers," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, which employs top drivers #18-Bobby Labonte and #20-Tony Stewart. "We want our drivers to be alert and feeling good throughout the race." While the WIX system is a complicated piece of engineering, its operation in a race car is relatively simple. Air enters through an intake in the passenger side window and passes through a hose into the filtration system. The air is scrubbed to remove most of the carbon monoxide, and then passed through another air filter that removes soot, debris and fumes. The cleaned air is cooled and sent into the driver's helmet. NASCAR has been trying to find a way to filter the air drivers breathe during races - which can last five hours with cars approaching speeds of 200 mph - for the last 18 months, since veteran driver Rick Mast announced he would retire at 45. Mast, who made 364 starts at NASCAR's top level, said years of exposure to toxic fumes in his car gave him acute and chronic carbon monoxide poisoning, a feeling he described as "the worst hangover in your life. You wake up feeling nauseated and you want to throw up and you can't," he said at the time. "Your head is pounding all the time and you just feel awful." When Stewart began complaining of similar symptoms, Joe Gibbs Racing approached WIX about a filtration system that could be installed in their race cars. "Tony is particularly sensitive to carbon monoxide fumes," Bruce Johnston, brand manager for WIX Filters, said in an interview at the company's headquarters in Gastonia. "They wanted to see if we could provide them something to make it easier for him to run at tracks like Martinsville and Bristol." J.D. Gibbs became a believer after blood tests on Stewart and Labonte following races showed the drivers had been exposed to potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. "In racing, you are always looking for small advantages," he said. "We think this is a big advantage for our drivers. And both of our guys told me it was a good move." Greg Rhyne, a WIX product designer, said improved aerodynamics in NASCAR cars have exacerbated the carbon monoxide problem in recent years. "These cars are so aerodynamic that almost no air flows into them," he said. "Essentially, the drivers are breathing the same air for 500 miles." Carbon monoxide's effects on the human body are cumulative, building up each time a driver is exposed to it. Some drivers have undergone oxygen treatments after races to decrease the effects of breathing the fumes. NASCAR's research and development center has developed a device, called a catalyst, that reduces carbon monoxide in cars and is encouraging teams to design filtration systems around it. The WIX filter uses NACAR's catalyst, as does a system developed by Penske Racing South and NASA. The Penske system uses two filters - one containing carbon and the other the catalyst developed by NASCAR - to convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. In May, during a Nextel Cup race in Richmond, #12-Ryan Newman and #77-Brendan Gaughan tried the Penske system in their cars. Johnston said WIX will offer its system to all racing teams that want to use the technology. After Stewart used the system in his car for the first time at Martinsville last year, he emerged from his car saying: "I could have run 500 more (laps)."(AP/Fox Carolina)(7-1-2004)

  • Stewart fined, docked points, on probation NO Suspension: NASCAR is not taking lightly Tony Stewarts attack of rookie Brian Vickers after Sundays road race in Sonoma. Stewart will receive a fine that could be as much as $50,000, a loss of at least 25 points in the Nextel Cup race, which will cost him at least one spot in the standings, and a lengthy probation, sources close to the sport said Tuesday. An official announcement will come Wednesday.(The State)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart has been fined $50,000, penalized 25 driver championship points and placed on probation until Aug. 18, resulting from a post-race altercation with fellow driver Brian Vickers last Sunday at Infineon Raceway. In addition, Joe Gibbs, owner of the No. 20 Chevrolets driven by Stewart, has been penalized 25 car owner championship points. The point penalty drops Stewart one spot in the series standings, to sixth place. Stewart was found in violation of Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book (actions detrimental to stock car racing; involved in altercation with another competitor). This action weve taken speaks for itself, NASCAR President Mike Helton said. Tony Stewart is well aware of what is expected of him going forward.(NASCAR PR)(6-30-2004)

  • Some Selected Tidbits from Brian France's press conference at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday:
    On the Tony Stewart/Brian Vickers incident:
    Q. I am curious as to your thoughts on the latest Tony Stewart incident, is this a big deal in your mind?
    BRIAN FRANCE: It is a big deal. We're going to see how big it is here shortly. But his behavior at Sears Point is unacceptable. We will be dealing with that shortly. Tony has to work within the same rule structure and behavioral expectations that we have for all of our drivers. And one way or the other, we will figure that out.
    Q. I was just wondering, you said on Tony that we'd know something soon. Can you be a little more clear on the timetable, is it going to be today or tomorrow?
    BRIAN FRANCE: It will be before the Pepsi 400, that's for sure. Look, we'll do it as fast as we can. We are still reviewing a few details to make sure we understand exactly what occurred and then we'll be reacting as soon as we get that completed.
    Q. Because a normal reaction to some-thing like this would be a fine, probation, points deduction, things like that. Because this is something of a continuing pattern, I guess, is it at least being discussed of doing something even more harsh than that?
    BRIAN FRANCE: Well, Tony is not on probation now. And he is like any other driver and we are going to look at the circumstances open mindedly. But we are on record, and I'll say it today, that his behavior at Sears Point is not acceptable. And so just how severe the punishment need to be to make a point that we are not going to accept that, and punish somebody for what they did, that's something we are going to have to work through.
    Q. I want getting back to Tony Stewart, have you or will you talk to Tony Stewart about his latest incident, and with regards to that, you said there's something that would come out shortly. Is this going to be your decision or something you're signing off with that Mike Helton's decided to do?
    BRIAN FRANCE: Well, I'll sign off on anything that is substantial. Mike will, as he always does, make his recommendations and we'll do that as a group. We have talked to Tony and I'm sure we'll talk again with Tony. That's where we are.
    See the full transript/Q&A, with MUCH more at NASCAR.com.(6-30-2004)

  • Stewart goes after Vickers UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart again finds himself in the middle of controversy, this time involved in an alleged physical confrontation with rookie #25-Brian Vickers. Following Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, Stewart brought his #20 Chevrolet to a rest on pit road, exited his car and hurried quickly to Vicker's car. Witnesses said the two engaged in what appeared to be an amicable conversation at first, with Stewart leaning over the driver's-side window of Vicker's car. After a few moments, Stewart became quite animated, began reaching into the car and tried to pull Vickers out, witnesses said. Members of Vicker's team quickly grabbed Stewart and hustled him away from the car. Stewart and Vickers both made a trip to the NASCAR hauler after the race. Late Sunday, NASCAR President Mike Helton said the sanctioning body was still gathering information about the incident. Vickers, who remained at the track well after Sunday's race while Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon celebrated the win, said he had no idea why Stewart was upset. "He hit me earlier in the race and then he wrecked us in Turn 11 and that's why we spun there. Then after the race he came over to the car and then it just went from there. "I was still strapped in the car with my helmet off. He came after me in the car. He reached for me and knocked the breath out of me. It was not a fist and he didn't hit me in the face." Vickers said he laughed when Stewart yelled at him because he had no idea why Stewart was so angry. "He said that I laughed about the situation and when I laughed I pissed him off and that's why he did it. I'm not going to lie to him and say that I didn't smile about it," Vickers said. "Somebody is upset at me because they wrecked me and I thought it was funny."(ThatsRacin.com)(6-28-2004)
    AND from a Raybestos ROTY report/PR: BRIAN VICKERS, #22 GMAC CHEVROLET:
    NOTES: Vickers finished 22nd and took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the fourth time this season.
    WHAT WAS TONY STEWART SO UPSET ABOUT?
    "To be honest with you, I have no idea why he is upset. He hit me earlier in the race and then he wrecked us in turn 11 and that's why we spun there. Then after the race he came over to the car and then it just went from there."
    YOU WERE STILL SITTING IN THE CAR?
    "I was still strapped in the car with my helmet off."
    WAS HE YELLING AT YOU?
    "At first it was a discussion about why he hit me and I thought it was kind of funny. I was trying to figure out why he was coming to me, mad at me, when he hit me. I was a little confused there and I thought it was kind of funny and that's when he came in the car after me."
    WHAT DID NASCAR SAY ABOUT ALL THAT?
    "You'll have to ask them for that. That's a question that you will have to ask NASCAR."
    WHAT PREVENTED IT FROM GETTING OUT OF HAND?
    "My team grabbed him off and pulled him off of me. He came after me in the car. He reached for me and knocked the breath out of me. Here's the deal: it was not a fist and he did not hit me in the face. He hit the armrest and he reached in the car and he grabbed me in the chest and when he did he hit me. It was kind of open-palm, grabbed my shirt. It was hard enough to knock the breath out of me and then he tried to pull me out of the car and that's when my guys grabbed me."
    DID STEWART APOLOGIZE WHEN YOU GUYS MET WITH NASCAR AFTER THE RACE?
    "He said that I laughed about the situation and when I laughed it pissed him off and that's why he did it. I said 'Yeah, I did laugh. I thought it was funny that you were mad at me because you wrecked me.' I thought it was funny. I'm not going to lie to him and say that I didn't smile about it. That's how I was raised. This is not a situation that I'm going to make a big deal out of. Somebody is upset at me because they wrecked me and I thought it was funny. He was always behind me. I never passed him, I was never behind him."
    HAVE YOU EVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH TONY BEFORE TODAY?
    "No, actually Tony I get along. Well, we used to [laughs]. We used to get along fine, actually, I guess as well as can be."
    ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC THAT THINGS WILL SORT THEMSELVES OUT?
    "I'm sure NASCAR will do the right thing. I'm sure they will handle the situation. They'll take care of it. If this happened at a restaurant, it would be my problem to handle. This happened at their racetrack and they're running the deal. It's their problem to handle and I'm sure they'll do the right thing. Right now, I'm looking forward to next weekend. What happens down the road happens. Am I happy with the guy right now? No, not really but I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. That's NASCAR's job to penalize people for things like that, not mine. Whatever NASCAR decides is their decision and I' support them in whatever they do."(Camp and Assoc.)
    AND II After his visit to the NASCAR hauler Sunday, Stewart left without comment. But he and Vickers did speak afterward.(see another story at NASCAR.com)(6-28-2004)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart could get word today or Wednesday from NASCAR officials about his run-in with rookie Brian Vickers after Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-29-2004)

  • No IRL Team for Stewart? Indy 500 in....2010? Tony Stewart is back to saying he has no intention of competing in the 2005 Indianapolis 500 or starting an Indy Racing League team. After showing up on bump day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month and toying with the idea of attempting to qualify an A.J. Foyt Racing car, Stewart said he would come back next year and do it for real. But asked about it before his 15th-place finish Sunday in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, Stewart said he got carried away by "Indy fever."
    "I would love to do it for the fans, but I just can't," the Columbus, Ind., native said. "It's too much of a hassle. There's nothing in my contract (with Joe Gibbs Racing) that says I can't do it, but there's no way I can and be fair to these guys here." Stewart said the next possibility is 2010, when the new contract he signed last year with Gibbs will have expired. He'll be 39 then. He also backed off his comments of a few weeks ago, when he said he has considered buying an IRL team or starting one. "I'm not working on it and haven't done anything about it," he said. "I've got three full-time (U.S. Auto Club) teams and one World of Outlaws team. That's plenty to keep me busy."(Indianapolis Star)(6-28-2004)

  • Sunday's Illegal Part Confiscated: #20-Tony Stewart's Home Depot Chevy had an oversized fuel entry neck confiscated. The oversize would allow the gas tank to fill at a faster rate, saving time on pit road.(Insider Racing News)(6-21-2004)

  • Stewart walks out of drivers meeting, goes to the back: Nextel Cup driver #20-Tony Stewart walked out of Sunday's pre-race drivers meeting at Michigan International Speedway before its conclusion and was sent to the rear of the field to start Sunday's DHL 400. Several drivers were asking questions of NASCAR President Mike Helton and events director David Hoots regarding restarts, when Stewart appeared to get frustrated. He said in part, "Can't we just go race?" and walked out of the meeting. The meeting continued. Stewart had qualified 27th.(MRN Radio race coverage/ThatsRacin.com)(6-20-2004)

  • Special Coca Cola Schemes at the Pepsi 400 UPDATE: interesting, hearing that eight drivers will run special Coca-Cola C2 [never flavor of coke, less sugar or something] 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, #21, #97 and #99 Coca-Cola C2 to my 2004 Cup Schemes page.(6-5-2004)
    UPDATE: Bill Elliott has become a big player in the cola wars that will be fought at Daytona International Speedway next month. The July 3 Nextel Cup race is sponsored by Pepsi, but Atlanta-based Coca-Cola has chosen the event for a huge promotion of its new mid-calorie, reduced-carb beverage, Coca-Cola C2. Elliott, who hasn't raced in Cup since April 4 at Texas, will drive a Coke-sponsored #98 Dodge [not sure how this effects the #98 Ford team and who would get to use the number, they are listed at #198 for owners, and last I heard, #98 is held by Yates, assume Elliott would be owner #298]. Because his usual car owner Ray Evernham has a deal with Pepsi, Elliott will have to be his own car owner. He will lease the car from Evernham, and after a recent test at Daytona is confident of a strong run. "I'm looking forward to this," Elliott said Wednesday. "Coke's from Georgia and so am I, so for me this is a really neat deal." Seven other drivers will be carrying the C2 colors at Daytona, including #1-John Andretti, who like Elliott, is running a limited schedule this season. Elliott's return as a car owner actually will come this weekend at Michigan when he'll field an ARCA car for his dirt racing buddy, Ray Cook. "Ray's a good young driver and he's worked awfully hard at racing," Elliott said. "I'm just trying to open some doors for him and help him get some credibility."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and see the #20 Home Depot/Coca-Cola image on my #20 Team Paint Scheme page.(6-17-2004)

  • Stewart to start IRL team? Tony Stewart said he has had some discussions over the past month about starting an Indy Racing League team. Stewart, who started his career in open-wheel racing, won the IRL title in 1997. "It started with other groups of people that approached me about the possibility of starting a team," Stewart said. "With our schedule in the Cup series, all my teams (World of Outlaws and U.S. Auto Club) teams are self-sufficient. The biggest thing would be hiring a team manager and a good crew. If we could do that, I would definitely entertain it." Stewart, who races sprint cars in his spare time and is also running in three Grand American Sports Car series events this season, said he could see increased participation on his part if there were more such races run in conjunction with Cup. "I would love to see the IRL run in conjunction with NASCAR," he said. "If they would do that just like the race at Daytona with the sports car, I could promise you I would definitely entertain that."(ThatsRacin.com)(6-13-2004)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Wins in Dover: Tony Stewart's pit crew took home the $20,000 first-place check as a result of winning the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade in Sunday's MBNA 400 "A Salute To Heroes" at Dover International Speedway. It was the second victory of the season for Stewart's crew, which also finished first at the Daytona 500 opener. Stewart's crew remains third in the chase for the $200,000 bonus that will go to the McDonald's/POWERade season champion. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew continues to lead in the standings with 501 points, 33 more than Elliott Sadler's team and 37 more than Stewart's crew. Stewart's Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on Dover's pit road with a time of 305 seconds. Earnhardt's Budweiser Chevy was second at 338 seconds and Kurt Busch's Sharpie Ford was third at 355. "The crew gave me great stops all day long," said Stewart, who finished second in the 400-mile race. "They were definitely on their game at Dover. We led a bunch of laps and contended for the win, and they were a big reason why." Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Chuck White (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Mike Lingerfelt (front-tire changer), Jay Barry (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff "Gooch" Patterson (gas man) and Brian Larson (catch can). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa.(DMF Communications PR), for the top 10 at Dover, season standings, see my Pit Crew page.(6-10-2004)

  • Stewart to run Paul Revere 250 at Daytona: Tony Stewart will co-drive with sports car champion Andy Wallace in the Paul Revere 250 next month at Daytona and again in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series in August. "I really feel like it will help me be a better road racer when it comes time to go to road course races with Cup this year," said Stewart, the 2002 Cup champion. "We learn so much from the guys who are professional road racers. You pick up little things here and there."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-10-2004)

  • Chris Bristol claims first win for Reggie White/Joe Gibbs Racing: Chris Bristol qualified second and led every lap to claim his first win at Caraway Speedway in his MBNA - Rockwell Automation sponsored Chevrolet. It is the first win for the Reggie White/Joe Gibbs Racing diversity program.(JGR PR)(6-6-2004)

  • Stewart in trouble? UPDATE unlikely: Tony Stewart may be in trouble with NASCAR for an incident in Saturday's Busch race: Stewart's car was sponsored by rocker Kid Rock, who bills himself as "American Bad Ass," from the title of his first hit single. Stewart's car had Kid Rock painted on the quarterpanel and "American Bad Ass" on the hood, but NASCAR officials made Stewart tape over the offending song title. However during the first pit stop Stewart ordered his crew to pull off the tape, which the crew did.(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: been told by folks with the team that Stewart's car started the race without the tape covering any part of the song title and that Stewart made no such orders.(6-1-2004)

  • 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)

  • Stewart...'bad what'? For those who like a little ridiculous with the sublime, there's the budding mini-controversy involving Tony Stewart's one-off sponsor for today's Busch Series race. The paint job for Stewart's Chevy, a car actually owned by Kevin Harvick, promotes a new album by Kid Rock, "American Bad Ass" -- except, of course, NASCAR temporarily taped over one of the words Friday (yep, that one). Stewart, as is his nature, reportedly removed the tape during the day. Stay tuned on this fun little episode. We're talking about a sanctioning body that recently gave a thumbs-down to sponsorship by "Redneckjunk.com," [Las Vegas-#50-Cope] but a thumbs-up to a diaper-rash product called "Boudreaux's Butt Paste," [#90-Donlavey Racing] so anything can happen.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-29-2004)

  • Robby and Tony almost team up for Indy: Robbie Gordon says hed love to have Tony Stewart as a teammate for the 2005 Indianapolis 500. "Its something that we should consider next year. I dont know what his plans are but I will run a car next year and if he wants to drive one of them well put him in one." Gordon says Stewart asked him over a week ago about a back-up car. "I got pretty excited because hey, yeah, well run him in a back-up car...its a Chevrolet&heck (Gordon joked) we could race cars, race helicopters, race airplanes and race helicopters again and see who wins." As for Stewarts appearance at the Brickyard over the weekend Gordon said "To do what he did and not drive the car was pretty disappointing because I was anxious to see him get out there and bust off a couple laps. It just would have been neat to see how quick he got up to speed. Hes proven he can drive Indy cars...he could do it with his eyes closed...it was just disappointed he didnt drive it at all."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-25-2004)

  • Stewart Eyes Indy 500: Tony Stewart says he plans discussions with team owner Joe Gibbs and Home Depot, the primary sponsor of his Nextel Cup car, about gaining permission to race in the Indianapolis 500 again in the future. "I'm going to talk to Joe and Home Depot and see if I can start working on something," Stewart said yesterday, according to IndyRacing.com. "I pretty much made the commitment to those guys that I wasn't going to do anything until I decided I was done with the Cup series, but you know, they've always been supportive. They've always said if I wanted to come back and run Indy, that they're behind me 100 percent." Stewart, a former Indy Racing League champion and 1996 Indy 500 pole-sitter, was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday, although he never took to the track on the final day of qualifying for this year's Indy 500. He said contractual obligations prohibited him from competing this year in the race, which is run the same day as the Nextel Cup's Coca-Cola 600.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-24-2004)
  • Stewart in the Indy 500? UPDATEs NO didn't happen: Tony Stewart is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was mentioned that Stewart passed a physical to run the Indy 500 on May 30th. At first when the camera's spied Stewart in the garage area, they were shown the door, but later Stewart was interviewed and was evasive and had a huge grin on his face. Stewart took a AJ Foyt #14 IRL car and said he felt comfortable, the reporter tried to lock down a yes / or no from Stewart, who said "I'm here aren't I?" with a big grin. Even mentioned his people were talking to Foyt about a contract, hard to read how serious this may be, PLUS, it is raining at the Speedway and it doesn't look good for any other attempts before the end of Bump Day today. Of course the IRL broadcast team was speculating on what kind of message it sends to drivers warring with Stewart and the Fox broadcast team.
    AND NASCAR star Tony Stewart, a former IRL champion, made an unexpected appearance at the track Sunday, passing a physical and chatting with team owner A.J. Foyt in his garage. That fueled speculation that Stewart might try to qualify one of Foyt's backup cars if the track dried in time. Foyt already has son Larry and grandson A.J. IV safely in the lineup. If he was successful in bumping his way into the lineup, Stewart would join fellow NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Robby Gordon in doing a difficult double next Sunday, racing in both the 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, N.C. Gordon qualified 18th on the opening day of time trials.(CNNSI/AP)
    UPDATE: it was mentioned and shown on ABC's Indy 500 time trials TV coverage that if the track dries, and it looks good now, Stewart will take the #14T car out to practice, his name is already on the car. HOWEVER, it was mentioned that Foyt Racing has not submiited the paperwork to make the driver change in the car....yet [as of 5:20pm/et]
    NO RUN: Stewart passed a physical and was getting ready to jump into one of team owner A.J. Foyt's backup cars to practice and perhaps attempt to bump his way into the lineup when everything came to a sudden halt. Stewart and Foyt were informed on the pit lane by Cary Agajanian, Stewart's agent, that there was an unspecified contract issue that would prevent him from driving the car. All Stewart could do at that point was grin and shrug off the disappointment. "I'm going to try to put something together for next year. I've got the fever now," Stewart said. The 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, who drives Chevrolets for Joe Gibbs Racing, said the hang-up Sunday had something to do with his stock car contracts. He did give specifics.(CBS Sportsline and ThatsRacin.com(5-23-2004)

  • Gordon OK with Tony: Jeff Gordon says hes cool with Tony Stewart after Stewart apologized for their run-in at Richmond. Tonys not a guy who walks up in my truck very often after a race so Im gonna take his word for it. It doesnt do any good to go out there and have paybacks and that kind of stuff on your mind so I want to block it out and race him as hard and as clean as I always would and hope to get that same respect back. Gordon met with the media after being picked to win this weekends Nextel All-Star Challenge by Lowes Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler. With a smile on his face Gordon said he accepted Stewarts apology and appreciated Tony coming into the hauler and that it meant something. Gordon then laughed and said he told Stewart youll have to accept mine for what I said to the media out there before I came up here. He (Stewart) said no problem.(PRN's Garage Pass radio show)(5-20-2004)

  • DW Comments on the Stewart Flap: Darrell Waltrip responded yesterday to a series of personal sideswipes by Tony Stewart by saying, ''I don't like it when it turns ugly. 'At first I thought he was just messing around with me, doing a little pre-race sparring, which is OK,'' Waltrip, a Fox Sports announcer, said from his home in Franklin. ''But then he just kept on and on, and I began to realize he wasn't joking around. 'I find it odd that he singled me out as his biggest critic. It's unfortunate.'' Stewart directed sharp remarks toward Waltrip before and after Saturday's race in Richmond. Stewart was upset by Waltrip's comments the week before that perhaps NASCAR should suspend him for one race for rough driving. Several drivers have complained about Stewart's over-aggressiveness in recent weeks. After the race Stewart, who had made slight contact with Jeff Gordon, said in a live, nationally televised interview: ''Darrell and those guys are up there in the booth now, lobbying to get me suspended for life.'' He continued to make pointed comments toward Waltrip. In reference to contact that was made among several drivers Stewart said, ''If Darrell had his way, we'd have only about 18 cars racing next week.''
    Yesterday Waltrip was asked if he was peeved, hurt or amused by Stewart's personal attacks. ''I don't really have a reaction,'' said Waltrip, a three-time champion whose 84 wins tie for third all-time. ''He drives his car and we talk about it. That's our jobs.'' Waltrip said he has always liked Stewart and has repeatedly praised his driving talent. ''I don't have anything against Tony,'' Waltrip said. ''What I said was not meant to be personal. Part of my job is to comment about situations on the track, and you can't ignore Tony's situation. This is reality TV. We don't make it up.'' Waltrip said he has had no contact with Stewart since last Saturday night's outburst. ''I kept thinking maybe he'll call me up and tell me he was only kidding around,'' he said. ''But so far I haven't heard from him.''(see full article at the Tennessean)
    The columns at FoxSports would be:
    Not the first to be singled out, Stewart doesn't deserve to be parked and
    Parking Stewart would teach him self-control.(5-18-2004)

  • Gordon unhappy with Stewart: #20-Tony Stewart found himself defending his on-track actions again Saturday night. This time, his target - #24-Jeff Gordon - is willing to forgive and forget, at least for now. With 40 laps remaining in Saturday night's Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Stewart and Gordon were racing for position when Stewart nudged Gordon's #24 Chevrolet up and out of the main racing groove. Gordon wobbled and lost a position. He was running in the top five and eventually finished sixth. Stewart finished fourth. After the race, Stewart made an unexpected visit to Gordon's hauler and spoke privately with Gordon for several minutes. "From where I was at, it seemed like he just body-slammed me for no reason but he came up to me in the trailer and said he was sorry he got loose," Gordon said. "I questioned it. He was like, "Hey, I'm telling you the truth, I got loose.' I'll have to look. They say he got loose the time before that. Maybe he did. If he did, then I'll accept his apology. If he didn't, then he certainly needs to get his act together." Asked immediately after the race about the incident, Stewart said he knew Gordon was "mad at him." "I just got down into (Turn) 3 and I got loose and we made a change (on the last pit stop) and that's probably what made it loose," Stewart said.
    Earlier Saturday, during a visit to the Richmond's infield media center, Joe Gibbs, Stewart's car owner and coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, said he did not believe Stewart's actions were a pattern of bad behavior. "Generally over the years, Tony may have had some stuff happen on the race track, but rarely with another driver. I think he has a great reputation with the other drivers," Gibbs said. "Rusty (Wallace) said the other night he and Tony had talked. I know Tony talked to Terry (Labonte) after that situation. I just kind of feel like it's just one of those things that happen. It has been a series of things that have happened here that haven't been good to him."(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)(5-16-2004)

  • Tony Stewart Comments: #20-Tony Stewart has had several on-track incidents lately leading some to speculate the Home Depot Chevy driver is driving frustrated...however, Stewart told PRNs Garagepass thats not the case. "No, Im not frustrated at all, were all working hard. Were not having a typical season for us by any means you know...yeah theres an element of frustration there but its not making us a road warrior on the racetrack. Were racing hard just like we do every week but were just struggling this year and we've been in a couple of altercations that we didnt want to be in but we've been in. Its not a situation where weve been looking to go out and get into wrecks with people and try to cause problems by any means. It just happens that weve been in a couple of incidents." When asked if he feels any more aggressive behind the wheel this season Stewart said, "I feel like Im racing just as hard as I normally do, Im just not as fast as I normally am so normally when Im that aggressive I get by people and I drive away from people where this year Im around a little bit more of a crowd than normal.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-11-2004)

  • Stewart wins Sprint Car Race: Tony Stewart was good enough Friday, but unlike his WOW victory in Sedalia [at Missouri's State Fair Speedway, a half-mile dirt track] on April 16, he had to battle to triumph this time. Columbia's Eric Shrock led through the midpoint of the 360-sprints feature, but at the completion of lap 10, his #86 car struck the wall under the flag stand. Shrock regained control but lost precious speed with Stewart closing in, in the #20 winged car maintained for him by friends Danny Lasoski and George Lasoski. Stewart seized the lead, overcame his own scrape with the wall at the flag stand in lap 11, and held off Shrock to take the checkered flag after 20 laps. Stewart had a layoff from the NASCAR schedule this weekend, for Mother's Day, so he called Lasoski, looking for a sprint race. The two decided Stewart would compete Friday at Sedalia, where he has driven a 360 four times -- easily the racer's most extensive experience in winged cars. "I've probably driven more types of race cars than anybody who races (NASCAR) right now," said Stewart, who turns 33 on May 20. "I just like the challenge of something I haven't done before, and (winged sprint) is probably one of the hardest things I've had to learn to drive right.(see full story at the Sedalia Democrat)(5-9-2004)

  • Stewart to run Atlanta Busch race with an all-star pit crew: The "McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE" competition is growing more intense this year [see last weeks standings on my Pit Crew Page]. McDonald's and Powerade have decided to take the competition to the next level by creating tow "All-Star Pit Crews" comprised of the best over-the-wall guys across the NEXTEL Cup Series. For the Atlanta Busch Series race in October. To win this event, the team whose car spends the least amount of aggregate time off the racetrack will be named the winner and awarded a monetary prize. To commemorate these unsung heroes, Tony Stewart will pilot the #92 Powerade car for the Powerade All Star crew. Both cars will feature the "McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE" theme [I assume they will use the standings up to that point as the competition runs thru the end of the series].(5-6-2004)

  • NASCAR OK with Stewart: after the incidents this past race at the California Speedway Cup race between Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace, few have asked what would happen to Stewart, saw this........But NASCAR on Monday said, no harm, no foul. Well, at least no foul. "We addressed Tony Stewart's driving before [Friday's] practice started at California and there was nothing that happened on the race track [Sunday] that we would term anything other than a racing incident," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications. I don't know if Rusty's had a chance to review film or video of the race, but it was just a racing accident. [Stewart] got loose. That happens. It just happened to be Tony Stewart." Stewart, who underwent anger-management counseling at the direction of his Home Depot sponsor two years ago, has been remarkably proficient at finding controversy on the track recently. He also banged doors with eventual winner Jeff Gordon, and drove behind Ricky Rudd and briefly lifted Rudd's Ford off the pavement with the nose of his Chevrolet. "Tony has a way of picking up the bull's-eye," Hunter said. "When stuff happens with Tony, he becomes an obvious target. He's a hard charger, there's no doubt about that. But so is Rusty and a lot of other drivers, and that's one of the things that makes our sport so great." Hunter also said NASCAR was not going to reprimand Wallace for his on-air comments.(Los Angeles Times)(5-5-2004)

  • Stewart meets with NASCAR: Nextel Cup director John Darby wouldn't go into specifics regarding his discussion with Tony Stewart on Friday morning, but did say he was confident it was a productive session. "It went real good," Darby said. "As normal, when we're up in the front of the trailer with the door shut, that's where it stays. But we had a real good conversation. We'll be alright." The meeting was spurred by what some folks deemed over-aggressive driving by Stewart last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, including a run-in with Kurt Busch that resulted in the "Big One," and a post-race collision with veteran Terry Labonte. Stewart, following his Busch Series qualifying run in the #29 Chevrolet on Friday, walked to the #5 hauler and apologized to some of the crewmen, then entered the hauler, presumably to speak with Labonte. Darby doesn't see it as any issue any longer.(NASCAR.com)(5-1-2004)

  • Tony Stewart Day: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and leaders from the state's House of Representatives and Senate will declare April 28 "Tony Stewart Day" in Kansas. The 2002 NASCAR Champion and driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet will speak before both houses of the Kansas Legislature and participate in a press conference with the governor, where she will present him with the official proclamation/resolution for "Tony Stewart Day."(Kansas Speedway PR)(4-28-2004)

  • Stewart to Meet with Darby at Calif. UPDATE penalty?: Tony Stewart will be required to meet with series director John Darby this weekend at California Speedway regarding his recent actions during and after races, NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo confirmed Monday. Stewart is not likely to face any official sanctions from his actions in and after Sunday's race at Talladega, Ala., Zizzo said, but Darby wants to discuss some of Stewart's recent actions with him. In Sunday's race, Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, was warned on the radio at least twice by NASCAR to calm his driver down. Following the race, Stewart elected not to run the "cool down" lap and turned into the exit of pit road. However, he failed to notice driver Terry Labonte and turned in front of him and the two collided. Stewart then drove up the length of pit road the wrong way at a high rate of speed past a gathering of media, NASCAR and track officials, then stopped to talk with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the entrance to the garage area. Several NASCAR officials, as well as Labonte's crew chief, Jim Long, complained about Stewart's actions. Labonte's team did not receive an apology or any explantion of his actions from Stewart. Monday, a spokesman for Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing team said Stewart phoned and spoke with Busch about Sunday's incident and had attempted to reach Labonte, but was so far unsuccessful. Stewart's explanation for his quick turn to pit road was an attempt to avoid the debris being tossed on the track by race fans, the spokesman said.(more at ThatsRacin.com)(4-26-2004)
    AND Tony Stewart's actions following Sunday's race at Talladega were being reviewed Monday afternoon by NASCAR officials to determine if further action by the sanctioning body was necessary. "We're reviewing (Stewart's actions)," NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said. "And gathering facts on what occurred to determine what we might do." Stewart caused one accident during the race when he hit Kurt Busch and was on the receiving end of some similar contact later in the race from Jimmie Johnson that sent Stewart spinning. He was being reviewed because, after taking the checkered flag at about 70 mph behind the pace car, he abruptly turned 90 degrees to the left, onto the track's asphalt apron heading into Turn 1. When he did, Stewart's car made contact with the front of Terry Labonte's car, causing it heavy damage, according to a team spokesman. Stewart drove up pit road in the opposite direction from the rest of the field, causing at least one television correspondent to report Sunday evening he and his co-workers had "feared for their safety" upon Stewart's actions. Stewart stopped at NASCAR's checkpoint to get the proper angle of his car's rear spoiler verified, and then drove into the garage area.(more at NASCAR.com)(4-27-2004)

  • What happened between #5-Terry Labonte and #20-Tony Stewart? Fox showed #20-Stewart making an abrupt left after the checkered flag and right into the the right front of #5-Labonte, but no further explanation was given and I have found none yet in articles or PR's. But have been told Stewart was avoiding some of the fan thrown debris and didn't realize Labonte was there and darted to avoid it, but have seen nothing 'official' about it.
    AND As NASCAR ruled that Jeff Gordon had edged-out fan favorite Earnhardt for the win because he was ahead of Earnhardt when the caution flag waved, fans littered the track with beer cans and other debris. When Stewart crossed the finish line, he made a hard left onto pit road to avoid the raining garbage. That caught Terry Labonte by surprise, who was just to the inside of Stewart. As Stewart turned, he clipped the nose of Labonte's #5 Chevrolet.(Truespeed PR/Joe Gibbs Racing)(4-26/27-2004)

  • Stewart making amends: #20-Tony Stewart knows he has angered a few of his rivals the last few days and his own teammates. So he's been making amends. First he called #22-Scott Wimmer to apologize for Sunday's temper tantrum at Bristol. So Tony, why all the anger? "Leave the innocents out of this," Stewart said with a grin, nodding toward his crew. "Just ask me."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-3-2004)

  • Gibbs Late Models Team to run Sat: the Joe Gibbs Racing Late Model teams are racing now. The #18 MBNA team with Chris Bristol will be in their third race this Saturday at Caraway Speedway [Asheboro, NC] and Aric Almirola will be making his debut in the #20 Home Depot Chevy at Ace Speedway [Altamahaw, NC] on Friday night. This is the Joe Gibbs Racing - Reggie White Racing diversity program teams.(4-1-2004)

  • Tony not Happy with Biffle UPDATE: hearing that following the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway, #20-Tony Stewart from his car to #16-Greg Biffle's hauler to "confront" him. Supposedly there was some incident on pit road where Stewart could not pit when Biffle supposedly cut off Stewart, causing Stewart to have to drive around anther lap to pit, explains why Stewart went from the top-10 to 17th for the final re-start.(3-22-2004)
    UPDATE: .....another caution came on lap 275 for oil on the track, which should've set the stage for the #20 team's last pit stop. But as the field headed to pit road, Biffle blocked Stewart from entering the pits. Livid, Stewart was forced to make a full lap around the 1.366-mile oval before getting his scheduled service. The silver lining in all of this was the five bonus points Stewart earned for leading a lap, as all the other lead lap drivers were getting four tires and fuel in their respective pit stalls. That was a tough sell to Stewart, however, as he emerged for the lap 283 restart in 17th.(Truespeed PR/Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-22-2004)

  • Seven Cup Drivers to run Special Chevy Trucks: The Chevrolet Silverado All-Stars, pairing NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers with superstar musical celebrities in the Truck Series. Michael Waltrip will be the first of seven different drivers to pilot the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado in individual races during the 2004 NCTS season. His musical partner, Sheryl Crow, will be featured in the special paint scheme for the first All-Stars race - the Charlotte Tailgate 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 21. Following the program debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway with Michael Waltrip, the following Chevy drivers with their specific musical partners will pilot the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado: Robby Gordon, Bristol (August 25); Tony Stewart, Richmond (September 9); Ricky Craven, New Hampshire (September 18); Bobby Labonte, Martinsville (October 23); Driver To Be Announced, Phoenix (November 5); and Ward Burton, Darlington (November 12). Serving as primary sponsor of the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado is Acxiom, a worldwide data services company. This Silverado entry will be campaigned by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, with whom Acxiom has been partnered since 1998 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.(GM PR)(3-13-2004)

  • Stewart, Andretti talk about Daytona: After Tony Stewart publicly blamed John Andretti for causing two on-track incidents during practice at Daytona last week, he sought out Andretti for some one-on-one conversation at Rockingham. The two sat on the pit wall and talked for several minutes, but Andretti said afterward that he's still upset with the way Stewart acted at Daytona. "He came up and talked to me," Andretti said. "He was talking about what made him mad, and I disagreed with him." Andretti said he was mostly mad that Stewart made derogatory comments in public before having a private discussion. And he thinks any apology should have been as public as the criticism. "I'm still really disappointed in how he handled it," he said. "Everybody can say, 'Well that's Tony,' but when I have a family and kids that are old enough to understand, it's not good enough to come up and talk to me on pit wall."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-22-2004)

  • Stewart to run Watkins Glen road race: With The Glen.com 200 Grand American race scheduled for the Sirius at the Glen NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend, Aug. 12-15. The event will get a boost from an appearance by former Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart. "The more attention we can draw toward that event just helps build that series, and having Tony Stewart participate is a bonus," said Julie Giese, director of public relations for Watkins Glen International. Stewart and co-drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Andy Wallace came close to winning the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona International Speedway in the Howard-BOSS Motorsport Chevy Crawford earlier this month. Wallace and Stewart will team up in the same Daytona Prototype at the Glen. Giese said the sports car event, being on the NASCAR weekend, will most likely draw a few more Nextel Cup drivers. Earnhardt is not expected to be among them, but Kyle Petty and Robby Gordon are possibilities. The Grand Am series has used its close connections to NASCAR in the past to help promote the Daytona Prototype class. Chemung native Geoffrey Bodine, voted one of NASCAR's top 50 drivers of all time, was brought in to race in the June Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen last year. The SPEED Channel will sandwich live coverage of the Formula One race between live coverage of the beginning and end of the Glen endurance race, which will start at 11 a.m. Viewers will rejoin the Glen action at 3:30 p.m. for the final hours.(Elmira Star Gazette)(2-19-2004)

  • New Home Depot Racing Site: Home Depot announced the launch of HomeDepotRacing.com, featuring several informational tools designed for race enthusiasts of all ages. Some of the features web surfers will find when browsing HomeDepotRacing.com include the latest race reports, current point standings, past and present statistics, a multimedia section, Stewart's Home Depot store appearance schedule, a Home Depot Chevy show car calendar, bios on members of the #20 team and a page outlining the history of the Home Depot Racing sponsorship.(PR)(2-12-2004)

  • Gibbs OK: Redskins coach [and owner of the #18, #20 and #80 Cup teams, and #18 and #20 Busch teams] Joe Gibbs, 63, was taken to the emergency room at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, Fla., for a diabetic reaction due to an insulin imbalance during his visit with Jags quarterback Mark Brunell. Gibbs, who was treated and released that night, returned to work Tuesday. Gibbs started to feel poorly on his Monday afternoon flight from Washington and was given some M&Ms on the plane to boost his sugar level. When Brunell met Gibbs at the airport in St. Augustine, Gibbs asked the quarterback to drive him to a hospital. Gibbs, diagnosed several years ago, revealed his diabetes during his introductory press conference when he returned to the Redskins last month. "He had an imbalance in his insulin, they gave him the required dosage to correct the imbalance and he went on his way," Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson told the Washington Post. "They didn't keep him there. They gave him what he needed and he left."(ESPN)(2-10-2004)

  • Guard and Reserve Busch Grand National cars schemes: The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a government-funded program that enlists the support of Americas corporations to procure employment of American military service men and women. The ESGR will sponsor 5 Busch races, with Richard Childress in an attempt to create awareness and to promote the 5 Freedom Award recipients selected in 2003. Here are 3 of the drivers that are available for preorder. All cars will be #29, so far three drivers:
    Tony Stewart Coast Guard scheme to be run at Homestead in November
    Bobby Labonte Army scheme to be run at Texas in April
    Jimmie Johnson Marines scheme to be run at California in May.(1-20-2004)

  • Stewart Gives: Tony Stewart's foundation made a $15,000 donation Wednesday to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Western North Carolina in honor of Hope Stout, the 12-year-old from Weddington, N.C., who made her dying wish to grant the wishes of the other local children with life-threatening illnesses. A fund-raising effort for the Make-A-Wish Foundation has raised more than $800,000 to meet Hope's request, with the goal of $1 million in sight. Hope died Jan. 4 from a rare form of bone cancer. Her story, first reported in The Charlotte Observer, has inspired many in the Charlotte area to contribute toward her wish. "We've been involved with Make-A-Wish in Indiana for a long time now, and it's impressive to see all the work that goes into granting a child's wish," Stewart said. "When we heard of Hope's story and what she was able to do before she passed away - it was amazing. Make-A-Wish is a great organization and she made it even better."(ThatsRacin.com)(1-16-2004)

  • Gibbs/Reggie White Diversity Update: North Carolina A&T graduate Chris Bristol is expected to be one of two minority drivers selected to drive a Late Model for a team owned by NASCAR owner and NFL coach Joe Gibbs and former NFL player Reggie White. The announcement is expected to take place later this month. Gibbs and White announced last year plans to create their own driver diversity program. Steve de Souza, vice president of Busch operations and special projects at Joe Gibbs Racing, said the organization received more than 200 resumes for the two openings. de Souza declined to name the two drivers but said Bristol was one of five who tested for the program last month. Bristol, a Greensboro resident, graduated from A&T in 1999 with a mechanical engineering degree. He finished second in the Late Model Super Truck division last season at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, winning rookie of the year honors, along with three races. Bristol, an African-American, first began racing six years ago in A&T's motorsports program and has been trying to race fulltime since. He was one of 13 candidates selected to try out earlier this week for the NASCAR-backed Drive for Diversity program -- which will put at least four minority drivers with Late Model teams in the Southeast. Bristol called program officials before the tryout to say he had other plans and wouldn't need to take part in the program. Bristol and his new team are expected to race regularly at Caraway. The other team is expected to compete regularly at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw.(News and Record)(1-8-2004)

  • Gibbs back to the NFL? UPDATE 2 It's Official - He is Back: Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs could make a surprise return to the Washington Redskins. The Washington Post, citing sources with connections to Gibbs, reported late Tuesday on its Web site that Gibbs was in serious discussions about returning to the team that he led to three Super Bowl titles. The 63-year-old Gibbs coached the Redskins from 1981-92 before resigning to pursue a career with his own NASCAR team. He has been adamant over the years about not wanting to coach again, although he has retained NFL connections. He is currently a minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons. The Redskins are seeking a replacement for Steve Spurrier, who resigned last week. Calls to the Redskins and to Gibbs' racing team were not immediately returned. Gibbs' racing teams have been among the most successful in NASCAR with two Winston Cup championships in the last four seasons. #18-Bobby Labonte took the title in 2000 and #20-Tony Stewart in 2002.(CNNSI/AP)(1-7-2004)
    UPDATE: The Washington Redskins [Go Eagles] expect to name Joe Gibbs their coach Wednesday, a source within the NFL told The Associated Press. The Hall of Fame coach has been negotiating a surprise return to the team he led to three Super Bowls, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. The source said the team hoped to complete the deal and make an announcement later Wednesday. The negotiations were first reported by The Washington Post and CBS Sportsline.com. Gibbs' oldest son, J.D., is president of Joe Gibbs Racing. The former coach's youngest son, Coy, finished 14th last season in the Busch Series standings [but is not racing in 2004 and is supposedly 'retired'.(ThatsRacin.com/AP), no word on how this effects the team, but Gibbs has his son's in place running most of the day-to-day operation already.(1-7-2004)
    AND from the Joe Gibbs Racing site: Joe Gibbs, former head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins and owner of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), announced today his return as head coach of the Washington Redskins. Gibbs retired as head coach of the Washington Redskins following the 1992 season after leading the Redskins to three Super Bowl victories in four appearances. In 12 seasons, Gibbs' record with the Redskins was 140-65 with a 16-5 playoff record.
    "The desire to coach has always been with me, even after being away from the game for 11 years," said Gibbs, whose contract with the Redskins will run for five years. "After speaking with my wife Pat, we both agreed it would be a thrill to go back. I appreciate Daniel Snyder giving me the opportunity to coach again. But rest assured, I remain personally committed to Joe Gibbs Racing and each and every sponsor who supports the many employees of Joe Gibbs Racing."
    JGR, winner of two NASCAR Nextel Cup Series championships and 40 Nextel Cup victories since its inception in 1992, will not be affected by Gibbs' return to the NFL sideline. Key management remains in place, with Gibbs' oldest son - J.D. Gibbs - continuing his role as team president. All of the drivers and key sponsors have long term deals, and the management structure will not change, with Jimmy Makar and each team's respective crew chiefs directing the racing operations. Joe Gibbs will remain as the race team's CEO.
    "I am real excited for my Mom and Dad," said J.D. Gibbs. "I think this move gives our sponsors added value in terms of getting national exposure. JGR is a strong organization and it's in capable hands. I feel great about the state of this race team and its future success on the race track."
    Prior to making his decision to return to the NFL, Joe Gibbs met with the race team's key corporate sponsors, most notably The Home Depot and Interstate Batteries. "Joe Gibbs is an integral part of The Home Depot family, and I speak for the more than 300,000 company associates in support of his new challenges as coach of the Washington Redskins," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO, The Home Depot. "Given Joe's success at building teams, it comes as no surprise that he would add NFL coach to his current responsibilities for the #20 Home Depot car driven by Tony Stewart. We look forward to a successful 2004 season with Joe Gibbs Racing."
    "All of us at Interstate are extremely excited for Joe and look forward to the Cowboys - Redskins rivalry heating up again". said Norm Miller, chairman, of Interstate Batteries. "Joe Gibbs has been terrific for racing, leading Interstate and Bobby Labonte to the 2000 Winston Cup Championship and I know he will quickly return the Redskins to Super bowl form." In addition to meeting with the race team's sponsors, Joe Gibbs also visited with his two NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers, Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte.
    "I'm very happy for him," said Stewart. "He's always been a coach, and football has always been very close to him. After working with Joe for a number of years, I know his commitment to winning is unmatched. Fans of the Redskins should be very happy."
    "I'm thrilled for Joe" said driver Bobby Labonte, who has driven for Joe Gibbs since 1995, "Donna and I think this is the coolest thing we've heard in a long time. The race team will be just fine, and all of us on the #18 team will work just as hard to win another championship in 2004 "(JGR site)(1-7-2004)

  • Dale Jr. and Stewart to run 24 at Daytona: Howard-Boss Motorsports and Crawford Race Cars announced that veteran road racer Andy Wallace will team with NASCAR stars Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the #2 Crawford DP03 Daytona Prototype. "This is an exciting time for all of us at Howard-Boss Motorsports," Rick Howard stated. "We have set our standards high with the new DP03 Daytona Prototype car. Our unique blend of driving talent with Andy Wallace, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes this event even more exciting, not only for our team, but for the fans of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Our expectations are also high for our teammates in the No. 4 Boss Snowplow Dave Brule-owned car. The results of our recent test session at the Homestead-Miami Speedway are very encouraging and we're really looking forward to the Rolex 24 At Daytona."
    Tony Stewart will be making his second start in the Rolex 24 for Crawford Race Cars. Stewart teamed with Jan Lammers and Johnny Mowlem in a Crawford SSC2K Prototype in the 2002 endurance race. After an impressive run at the front of the field, engine problems sidelined the Stewart, Lammers and Mowlem team just past the midway point in the twice-around-the-clock event.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be making his second start in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Earnhardt Jr. teamed with his father Dale Earnhardt, Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins in a Chevrolet Corvette to finish fourth overall in the 2001 event.(Grand-Am Racing Series site)(1-1-2004)

2003 News

  • #18 and #20 Shrek 2 Paint Schemes at Lowe's: In this DreamWorks sequel to the $267 million dollar original SHREK movie all the original characters are back for yet another adventure and are also joined by a few new faces. To continue the hype of the movie release, on May 21, 2004, #18-Bobby Labonte will drive a SHREK 2 themed racecars during the Coca Cola 600 Race at Lowes Motor Speedway.
    AND #20-Tony Stewart will drive a SHREK 2 themed racecar during the Nextel All-Star Race at Lowes Motor Speedway on May 22nd, 2004.(12-28-2003)

  • Special Scheme for Tony Stewart at California Speedway in September, a reverse scheme of some sort for the #20 Home Depot Chevy.(12-27-2003)

  • Chili Bowl Stuff: Dirt-track star Danny Lasoski has entered two additional cars for the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals [www.chilibowl.com] and invited drag racer Ron Capps and NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader to drive them. They'll be competing against Tony Stewart, J.J. Yeley and Kasey Kahne in the 18th annual event Jan. 7-10 at Tulsa, Okla.(Indianapolis Star)(12-19-2003)

  • No 2004 Indy 500 for Stewart: Asked recently if he might consider a return to Indy next year to drive in the Indianapolis 500 should the opportunity arise, Tony Steart [#20 Home Depot Chevy] had a two-word response: "No chance." Stewart has made five Indy starts, the last in 2001 when he finished sixth. His name popped up several times last May, but he said then he wouldn't attempt another double of the Indy 500 in the afternoon and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 that night at Charlotte, NC. The Columbus, Ind., native was courted last summer by Chip Ganassi before re-signing with Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart drove for Ganassi in the 2001 Indy 500 but said the NASCAR and Indy Racing League team owner didn't dangle Indy as a carrot in their discussions. Stewart said the decision to restrict his visits to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to August is his alone and not a stipulation of his contract with team owner Joe Gibbs. Staying away in May doesn't mean the race isn't still high on his priority list.(Indianapolis Star)(12-12-2003)

  • New Stewart Driver for USAC: Josh Wise's open-wheel racing career got a big boost this week when he was chosen to be the driver of a team former NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart is forming to compete in the USAC National Midget series. Wise, 20, of Riverside, said by phone that Stewart called him Tuesday night, but no contracts have been signed because "they're just beginning the process of putting the team together." Stewart, who won the USAC Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown series titles in 1995, also owns a two-car USAC Sprint car team, a World of Outlaws sprint car team and is part-owner of a USAC Silver Crown car. Danny Lasoski is the driver of the Outlaws entry and Cory Kruseman was a teammate in the Sprint car series to J.J. Yeley, who also drove Stewart's Silver Crown car. Yeley, who emulated Stewart by winning all three USAC titles this year, is moving into NASCAR next season. Wise said Dave Steele, who won the recent Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale Speedway, will replace Yeley for the pavement Sprint car events, but no one has been named to drive in the races on dirt. Wise said he would welcome that opportunity, but that isn't in the plan at this point. "I'm going to do the whole National Midget deal," Wise said. "I'm pretty excited. It's what I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm finally getting to do it."(Press-Enterprise)(12-5-2003)

  • Cup drivers in the Daytona 24? Chevrolet is trying to have a big presence in the Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona 24 hour early next year. Daytona Prototypes are under construction at Crawford Race Cars in Denver, North Carolina, all powered by GMs Gen III V8 engines, which GM hopes will be piloted by its Winston Cup stars. Chevrolet is looking at various driver combinations and its unclear how many cars will run. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart are strong candidates, and Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon could figure in the mix. Regular GM road racers Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim are on deck as well. GM sources say there is no truth to rumors that another car is slated for Bobby, Terry and Justin Labonte.(Autoweek)(11-26-2003)

  • Yeley signed with Gibbs UPDATE: JJ Yeley, the 26-year-old USAC national sprint-car champ and Silver Crown champ, has signed a contract to join Joe Gibbs' team next season, team sources confirmed yesterday, though the announcement isn't expected for a few weeks. JJ, whose real name is Christopher Beltram Hernandez Yeley, has Tony Stewart as a mentor and now as a teammate. But Yeley may have a long way to go before making it to the Winston/Nextel Cup tour. Jimmy Makar, general manager for Gibbs, says that the new team is still in a formative stage. "We're trying to develop a program to develop a young driver," Makar says. "We've got some sponsorship irons in the fire, a few small things we're working on, but nothing major yet. We're looking at doing some Busch races and some ARCA races next year. We'll really just take it as it comes. There's nothing saying we have to run X-amount of races in any one division. We'll start testing and see how he develops, and add races as he develops." Who will run the team? "We've got six or seven guys on a list to talk to," Makar says. "We've talked to a few already, and we'll talk to more in the next few weeks, and decide which way to go."(Winston Salem Journal)(11-17-2003)
    UPDATE: Open wheel standout JJ Yeley said Tuesday he has signed a two-year contract with the powerful Joe Gibbs Racing team, whose drivers have won two of the past four NASCAR Winston Cup championships. "A lot of different teams were interested, but out of all of the programs, I think this is the best one for a long-term situation," said Yeley, a Phoenix native now living near Indianapolis. "They're very well respected, and they have everything it takes to get me to the next level." No one from the Gibbs team could be reached for comment, but Yeley said a formal announcement is expected today. Yeley recently turned his attention toward NASCAR after being unable to land a full-time Indy Racing League ride, and he immediately landed on the Gibbs' radar screen in part because Tony Stewart owns or co-owns two of the U.S. Auto Club cars Yeley drives. Stewart won the 2002 NASCAR title for Gibbs, and teammate Bobby Labonte was the 2000 champion. In time, perhaps as early as the 2005 season, Yeley hopes to reach the top NASCAR series, which will become the Nextel Cup in 2004. Until then, Yeley will divide next season between the NASCAR Busch Series and the ARCA circuit. "There's also a chance I could do a couple of Cup races," said Yeley, who is testing today and Thursday at Kentucky Speedway.(Arizona Republic)(11-19-2003)

  • Victory Lap at Homestead: been sent the image above my many readers and diecast dealers, been told Kenseth will NOT run the scheme at Homestead. The scheduled Victory Lap cars to run at Richard Petty and Tony Stewart, see images of those cars and the rest on my Victory Lap page.
    the PR - Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Richard Petty, along with the reigning Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart, will honor Winston's final race as title sponsor of NASCAR's top series with a victory lap tribute prior to Sunday's Ford 400. Petty, also the first champion under the 33 years of Winston's sponsorship will ride alongside Stewart as part of a special "Victory Lap" tribute to honor NASCAR Winston Cup Series champions during R.J. Reynolds' 33-year tenure in the sport. The 2003 NASCAR season is the final for Winston's title sponsorship of NASCAR's top division, which they have held since 1971. Stewart will represent "active" NASCAR Winston Cup champions in the "Victory Lap" tribute. He will drive a specially painted #20 Home Depot Chevrolet alongside the famous #43 Dodge [not Chevrolet] driven by the "King" Richard Petty during pre-race ceremonies.(HMS PR)(11-10-2003)

  • Rusty looking to talk to Tony: #2-Rusty Wallace took the blame for an accident last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway that started when he bumped Tony Stewart. The wreck has caused Wallace so much anxiety that he's still not over it, he said at Rockingham. Wallace bumped Stewart in Turn 2, causing the two to slide up the track. As they slowed, Bobby Labonte and Kevin Harvick also piled in. "We had a pretty good car until I screwed up," Wallace said. "I caused that whole damn mess myself. I sailed off into the corner at Phoenix, totally uncharacteristic of myself, and got in too deep. I got the front end pushing, and I bumped Tony." Wallace said he would seek out Stewart this weekend. "I haven't talked to Tony about it yet, but I will," Wallace said Friday morning.(NASCAR.com)(11-8-2003)

  • And what is up with the Yeley rumor? For weeks, representatives of NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner Joe Gibbs and J.J. Yeley have engaged in contract talks, but a deal has yet to be finalized. Speculation is Yeley, who is on the verge of capturing the U.S. Auto Club Triple Crown (Silver Crown, sprint car and midget championships in the same season), and Gibbs are discussing a deal that would include ARCA, Busch and a few Cup races. The holdup may be in the number of ARCA and Busch races Yeley would do in each series.(Arizona Republic)(11-7-2003)

  • It's Back: This weekend #20-Tony Stewart is scheduled to drive the car that NASCAR impounded at Texas. It would be the first time the car has been run since NASCAR returned it. NASCAR officials impounded the car after it failed a pre-event inspection when the rear end was found to be offset beyond the rules. Series officials studied the car for several weeks before returning it.(Roanoke Times)(11-5-2003)

  • Cars to the Chassis Dyno at Phoenix; #20 had the most power UPDATE 2: NASCAR put nine cars on the chassis dyno after the race, to compared effective horsepower at the rear wheels: the Dodges of #12-Ryan Newman, #9-Bill Elliott and #22-Scott Wimmer, Fords of #97-Kurt Busch, #17-Matt Kenseth and #38-Elliott Sadler, and Chevys of #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #48-Jimmie Johnson and #20-Tony Stewart.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-3-2003)
    UPDATE: Of the nine cars NASCAR tested on the chassis dynamometer after the Phoenix race, Tony Stewart's #20 had the most horsepower.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(11-3-2003)
    UPDATE 2: The preliminary figures from Sunday's chassis-dyno runs showed Tony Stewart with the strongest engine, pulling 742 horsepower at the rear wheels, and Kurt Busch with the weakest, 702 horsepower, according to sources. That's a sizable difference.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-5-2003)

  • NASCAR to meet with Stewart: NASCAR officials plan to meet with #20-Tony Stewart this weekend at Phoenix to discuss his failure to meet media obligations following Monday's race at Atlanta, said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for corporate communications. Stewart finished second in Monday's race, won under caution by Jeff Gordon. He did a brief TV interview immediately after the race, but did not report to the media center, a requirement for the top-three finishers in a race. This is the second time in four races NASCAR has had a driver who finished runner-up in a Winston Cup event fail to meet media obligations after a race. Bill Elliott refused all but a brief interview after his second place run at Kansas on Oct. 5.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart had a "productive" meeting Friday with NASCAR officials regarding his failure to meet media obligations following Monday's race at Atlanta, said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for corporate communications. After finishing second at Atlanta, Stewart failed to attend a post-race news conference, which is required of the top-three finishers of each race.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-1-2003)

  • NASCAR to meet with Stewart: NASCAR officials plan to meet with #20-Tony Stewart this weekend at Phoenix to discuss his failure to meet media obligations following Monday's race at Atlanta, said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for corporate communications. Stewart finished second in Monday's race, won under caution by Jeff Gordon. He did a brief TV interview immediately after the race, but did not report to the media center, a requirement for the top-three finishers in a race. This is the second time in four races NASCAR has had a driver who finished runner-up in a Winston Cup event fail to meet media obligations after a race. Bill Elliott refused all but a brief interview after his second place run at Kansas on Oct. 5.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-30-2003)

  • Tony Stewart Driver and RAD: On behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Race Against Drugs (RAD) program, Eric Saunders, a fifth-grader at LaVille [IN] Elementary School, accepted an invitation to participate this week in the Pentagon's Inner Courtyard National Red Ribbon Week Celebration. The RAD exhibit is one of several recognizing and celebrating drug prevention programs and initiatives throughout the United States. Saunders also has something special that not many other young racers have: sponsorship. Besides Suzuki, several others are sponsoring Eric. He also has a bond with NASCAR Winston Cup 2002 champion Tony Stewart. Eric rides for Tony Stewart Racing.(see full story at the South Bend Tribune)(10-30-2003)

  • Stewart Blows Off Interviews: Members of the print media were enraged to learn following today's race at Atlanta that second-place finisher Tony Stewart and highest-finishing rookie Jamie McMurray both blew off ther post race press conferences. McMurray said he had to catch a flight. It was announced McMurray was excused. Stewart said he had a previous engagement to attend. This comes on the heels of the Kansas race where second-place finisher Bill Elliott failed to appear before the media. NASCAR said after Kansas that fines could be imposed if it happened again. NASCAR's Jim Hunter went into the Winston Cup garage after the race today searching for Tony Stewart. The driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet was nowhere to be found. Ironically while third-place finishing Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe's Chevrolet, sat and fielded questions, Stewart, sponsored by Atlanta-based Home Depot quickly exited the premises. Hunter said he would look into the matter this week. Stewart did field an interview with TNT and PRN radio after the race.(source)(10-27-2003)

  • 3rd Cup team for Gibbs in 2005 UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing [#18-Labonte and #20-Stewart] will add a third full time Cup team in 2005.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required). Assume the team will run part time in 2004 [has attempted/run a few 2003 Cup races in the #80 with Mike Bliss], so who drives? Mike Bliss? Coy Gibbs? J.J. Yeley?; Bliss and Gibbs run full time for Gibbs in the Busch Series now and Yeley supposedly will run Busch for Gibbs in 2004.(10-11-2003)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing was so impressed by J.J. Yeley's tryout at Lakeland (Fla.) Speedway last week that he is expected to run an ABC (ARCA, Busch, Cup) schedule with the organization next year. Yeley, a protege of Tony Stewart, is attempting to win the USAC Triple Crown (Silver Crown, Sprint, Midget).(Sporting News/Yahoo Sports)(10-13-2003)

  • Yeley tests car for Gibbs: J.J. Yeley, 27, will test a NASCAR Busch Grand National car for Joe Gibbs Racing today in what should be a step toward signing a multiyear contract with the team. Yeley is on his way to becoming the second driver in U.S. Auto Club history to win all three major divisions in the same season, following Tony Stewart in 1995. He has clinched the Silver Crown and sprint-car titles and leads in midgets by 75. Stewart drove for Joe Gibbs' team in 1998 before moving to Winston Cup the next year.(Indianapolis Star), hearing the test will be at Lakeland - USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL where Bobby Labonte is testing the #18 Cup car.(10-7-2003)

  • Tony Stewart Launches New Website: For race fans looking for a behind-the-scenes look into the life of Tony Stewart, look no further than SmokeVIP.com. The recently launched subscription-based site provides an array of web entertainment including streaming audio/video, candid photos, screen savers, and e-postcards just to name a few of the features. Tonystewart.com will remain a free and up-to-date website where information about the #20 Home Depot Racing Team and the #20 World of Outlaws team can be obtained. All other aspects of tonystewart.com - message boards, appearance listings, pre and post-race reports and the online store - will also remain the same. However, for those who can't get enough of Tony Stewart, SmokeVIP.com is the place to be.(10-3-2003)

  • #20 Crew Wins Pit Crew Award at Talladega: #20-Tony Stewart's pit crew took first-place honors in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade in Sunday's (Sept. 28) EA Sports 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It was the first victory of the season for the No. 20 pit crew, which earned $20,000 for the win. Stewart's pit crew also became the 15th different winner of the season to capture the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Stewart's Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road for participating teams in Talladega - 238.941 seconds. Ken Schrader's No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge was second with a total pit-road time of 248.257. Third was Dave Blaney's Jasper Engines Dodge at 257.022. "The crew did a great job on our last pit stop -- got us out first of the cars that pitted," said Stewart, who posted a third-place finish in Talladega. "We restarted 10th and got up to fourth or fifth -- something like that - and just stayed around the top-10. Their performance gave us the track position we needed to make our run during those last four laps. They definitely deserved to have won the McDonald's/POWERade contest."
    Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Mike Lingerfelt (front tire changer), Tom Dean (front tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear tire changer), Jay Barry (rear tire carrier), Brian "Shaggy" Larson (catch can), Jeff "Gooch" Patterson (gas man), Chuck White (jackman) and Scott Geerts (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit crew coach is Paul Alepa.
    With a strong pit crew performance at Talladega (fourth), Michael Waltrip's team increased its lead in the season standings for the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Waltrip's team has 1028 points and leads by 44 over the No. 97 crew for Kurt Busch's team, which moved into second place following Talladega. Dale Earnhardt Jr's team dropped to third, 47 points behind the leader. The season pit crew champion will earn a $200,000 bonus.

    (DMF Communications PR), see top 10 results and full season standings on my Pit Crew News page.(10-1-2003)

  • Stewart Files Lawsuit Against Alleged Seller of Fake Racing Helmets: Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has filed a lawsuit against Gary McColgin, a 45-year-old Florida native, accusing him of selling fake racing helmets and other non-licensed memorabilia featuring Stewart and his Winston Cup sponsor - The Home Depot. The lawsuit added to an already long list of charges against McColgin. In June at his home in Woodstock, Ga., McColgin was arrested by Detective Burt Love of the Cherokee County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office for selling fake Rolex watches on E-bay. Specific charges against McColgin include theft and counterfeiting, among others. Thanks to Stewart's lawsuit, which has been joined by Home Depot, police and the FBI are now investigating McColgin in connection with his alleged sale of fake racing helmets over the Internet. Fake Tony Stewart racing helmets have reportedly sold for over $4,000.
    "We've been trying to track this guy down for a while now," said Stewart. "It looks like fake racing helmets weren't the only things he was selling. The fake Rolexes were the first things to get him in trouble, but my management group has been gathering evidence and we've charged Mr. McColgin with selling fake racing helmets. "I want to be on the record in saying that selling fake racing merchandise of any kind will not be tolerated by me or anyone affiliated with Tony Stewart Motorsports. It's deceptive, and it hurts race fans and teams alike - race fans because they're not getting authentic merchandise for which they paid, and teams who are unable to secure the royalties from racing merchandise so they can't re-invest that money back into the race team. Mr. McColgin's antics are about to stop, as are any other persons looking to follow in his footsteps."
    The specific causes of action against McColgin regarding the sale of fake Tony Stewart racing helmets include federal trademark infringement, federal copyright infringement, federal false advertising, federal and state unfair competition, and violations of the Georgia Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The basis for McColgin's arrest regarding the sale of fake Rolexes are: two counts of theft by deception; two counts of theft by taking; possession of tools for commission of a crime; forgery in the first degree; making of a terroristic threat; forgery/counterfeiting of registered trademarks and copyrighted designs; and violation of Georgia RICO statute. Georgia RICO carries up to 20 years in prison, forgery in the first degree up to 10 years, and theft carries up to five years. McColgin has not yet been indicted, therefore, a date for trial has not been set yet, but it is likely to take place in Cherokee County unless the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office decide to take over the case. In the event the federal government takes over, the case will most likely be tried in federal court in Atlanta.(PR)(9-29-2003)

  • More on Tires: Last weeks Dover International Speedway tire problems are again the talk in the garage here at Talladega Superspeedway. Dover is traditionally one of the tracks where allegedly inconsistent tires become the post-race issue for the teams that fail to reach Victory Lane. With so much at stake for each team it is not unexpected for those with unattained top-10 hopes to complain, but it is also important to know whats being discussed.
    Albeit unofficial, the problem, according to several high-profile crew chiefs, deals with the tire vintage uncorked at the abrasive Dover track last week. Specifically, the wide differences in tire build dates left some teams scratching their heads. The tires allegedly carried production tags and codes representing tires three weeks old or nine months old or maybe even 18 months old. And it is generally accepted that a newer tire compound more effectively sticks a car to the track than an older tire.
    The tire specialist from the Motorcraft Ford team countered, however, that reading the codes is not rocket science. Its getting a little overblown, said the tire engineer. All the information is right on the tires.
    The tire engineer continued, telling TFR that he could see that there were a number of tires from various tire runs and that he was able to identify and match sets to prevent or minimize any surprises. Other teams found a scapegoat for the weekend performance.
    Where the problem lies is that an older tire will amplify any problem that you have with a car  or if its pushing a little with a new tire it will absolutely plow with an older one, said one of the Ford crew chiefs. Same with a loose car  or if its a little loose on new tires itll want to snap around on the driver in a heartbeat on old tires.
    Another crew chief told TFR that hed bought 17 sets of tires trying to find five good sets in the lot. And we threw away four of those sets. They were totally useless to me or anyone in this sport, the irritated crew chief said.
    A NASCAR source told TFR today that beginning in 2004, when Goodyear brings out a new softer compound tire, a date code will be stamped onto the tire as part of the production process. The NASCAR source also said that he understood the good business sense that Goodyear is using in clearing out their warehouse of the aging tires before they become obsolete.(Ford Racing)(9-29-2003)

  • Tire contract explained: from Speed Mail on Fox Sports by Jeff Hammond, since I been asked, here ya go: "Teams do have a contract with Goodyear, like a Joe Gibbs. I'm sure they are on some kind of bonus program with Goodyear because he has two past champions. Does everybody get in on the deal? No, it doesn't work out that way. And yes, NASCAR does get paid by Goodyear to be the official tire of NASCAR. Are any other companies allowed to be involved? No. NASCAR restricts involvement. A few years ago, we did have another company involved, Hoosier. It didn't work out quite like NASCAR wanted it to so Goodyear is the tire manufacturer for Winston Cup and NASCAR. With that being said, Goodyear works very, very hard to keep what happened at Dover from happening again. They work very hard to fix that problem. It's just a tough part of our game."(FoxSports)(9-29-2003)

  • Stewart loses Goodyear support? more on the growing Goodyear tire controversy, following Tony Stewart's angry complaints after losing at Dover. Goodyear officials fanned the debate when they again refused to respond to numerous questions about the issues: Was Stewart correct in claiming that a problem with the freshness of his tires cost him the race? Was crew chief Greg Zipadelli correct that the age of the tires used this season is a significant problem on the Winston Cup tour? Is Goodyear wrong to have special sponsorship deals with some of the top teams? Is NASCAR wrong to give Goodyear a monopoly and then allow Goodyear to make those special deals? Goodyear also declined to respond to complaints by some crews that the top six or seven teams are provided secret technological information unavailable to the other teams. NASCAR stayed on the sideline, but did fine Stewart $5,000 for using foul language on TV. Goodyear is expected to cancel Stewart's tire deal. After a similar tirade, Stewart lost his Goodyear sponsorship for 2002, making him the first to win a Winston Cup championship without a Good-year deal. Goodyear will return to its 'Born-on' tire dating next season, but Goodyear appears unlikely to reveal its current secret dating codes this fall. Goodyear yesterday was offered the opportunity to confirm or deny Greg Zipadelli's complaint that its Dover tires came from different batches, but the company declined. Goodyear sells on a no-return policy, and NASCAR selects tires at random for each team. So there is an underground economy among Winston Cup crew chiefs who trade tires with each other, trying to match sets.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2003)

  • Stewart sits out practice; Kyle practices the #20 UPDATE and Kyle will stand by Sunday: #20-Tony Stewart was on the sidelines Saturday morning as Winston Cup practice rolled off at Talladega Superspeedway. Migraine headaches were to blame, the driver's No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team said. Kyle Petty was in the car for the two Saturday sessions on the 2.66-mile Alabama speedway.(Mercury News)(9-27-2003)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty practiced the car during the first session, and Bobby Labonte drove the car four laps after crew chief Greg Zipadelli made a carburetor change for the second practice. Petty is standing by to fill in for Stewart should he not be able to race on Sunday.(GM PR). No idea why #80-Mike Bliss, who attempted to make the race in a third Gibbs car is standing by.(9-28-2003)

  • Home Depot stays with Gibbs until 2009: The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, has extended its contract with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) through 2009 as primary sponsor of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet driven by reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. Home Depot's extension parallels Stewart's new contract with JGR, ensuring Home Depot's involvement with JGR and Stewart well into what will soon become the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. "Home Depot is pleased to extend its relationship with a partner that mirrors our culture. Winning 16 races and a national championship requires a team that has a passion for leadership, performance, and attention to detail. On behalf of our 315,000 Home Depot associates, we look forward to six more years of a great partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and Tony Stewart," said John Costello, executive vice president for merchandising and marketing of The Home Depot. "The growth and success of our race team wouldn't have been possible without the support of The Home Depot," said Gibbs, who formed his race team more than 11 years ago. "Home Depot's drive to win is just as strong as ours, which is why there's so much pride built into those orange and black race cars. Our relationship with Home Depot allows us to perform at our best week in and week out, something that will continue for many years to come."
    "In my 23 years of racing I can honestly say that Home Depot has been the best sponsor I've ever had," said Stewart. "The support they've given to our race team has been excellent, and it's great to know that Home Depot will continue to be a part of our efforts to win more races and another championship."(True Speed Communication PR)(9-26-2003)

  • Stewart not happy with tires at Dover: Although it had been some time since Tony Stewart said anything critical of Goodyear and its tires, he did not hold back Sunday, accusing Goodyear of costing him a shot at victory in Sunday's MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway. Stewart, who has sparred verbally with Goodyear in the past, took four fresh tires on his final pit stop on Lap 326 of 400 but could not keep pace with the race leaders. He finished third after leading 97 laps. "You can't adjust on a car because it won't do the same thing from one set of tires to another set of tires. They sponsor all these teams and basically what it is, is 'hush money' to keep us from talking about it and I'm tired of covering their [expletive]," Stewart said after the race. "It's pretty bad when the sets of tires are so bad that you can't make an adjustment on the car and go out and win the race when you have the fastest car on the track. We'll just salvage third." When asked if the sets of tires were completely different from set to set, Stewart said: "Ask Goodyear, they're the ones who build the pieces of [expletive]." Goodyear officials met with team owner Joe Gibbs and Zipadelli after the race. Campbell said Goodyear would be talking more with the team this week about the issue.(more at [NOTE: adult content on this link] ThatsRacin.com)(9-22-2003)

  • Stewart's IRL Trophy Auctioned Off: Items commemorating Tony Stewart's 1997 IRL title were auctioned off on Sunday. The memorablia was owned by a former team manager who embezzled more than $1 million from Team Menard. Collectors paid thousands of dollars for auto racing memorabilia once owned by former Indy Racing League team manager Larry Curry. Curry was manager of Team Menard from 1996-98 and won the IRL title with driver Tony Stewart in 1997. A federal judge in June 2001 sentenced Curry to 33 months in prison for helping to embezzle more than $1 million from the racing team. Curry also was fined $250,000 and ordered to make restitution to team owner John Menard of Eau Claire, Wis. Menard took possession of Curry's championship rings and watches, trophies, racing crew and driving suits, helmets and framed pictures. They were auctioned Saturday in Indianapolis. The rings, leather jackets, Rolex watches and ladies jewelry fetched tens of thousands of dollars from hundreds of buyers. Police stood watch as visitors looked over the items. "How often it is it that you could get to see a championship ring, let alone own it," said John Sears, a collector. "Who knows what they are worth?" (Charlotte Observer/AP)(9-16-2003)

  • Tony Stewart DVD: Continuing a trend of blending NASCAR's wildly successful form of motorsports with mainstream pop culture, NASCAR Images recently unveiled production details for the forthcoming DVD release entitled: "Tony Stewart: SMOKE." The new production will include narration by multi-platinum artist and racing enthusiast Kid Rock, coupled with a dynamic soundtrack provided by top-selling rock group 3 Doors Down. As driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, the Indiana native's forthright nature and overriding passion for winning is the backdrop for a career marked equally by success and controversy. In "Tony Stewart: SMOKE", NASCAR Images looks beyond the headlines to present a sincere and intimate look at the driver known as the "Rushville Rocket." Groomed for stardom at an early age on the dirt tracks of Southern Indiana, Stewart's rise to the pinnacle of racing achievement is a story which traces the "win at all cost" philosophy that is at the core of his pubic persona. As told via exclusive and insightful interviews with family, friends, rivals, teammates and Stewart himself, "Tony Stewart: SMOKE" will take viewers well beyond the headlines to examine the championship-winning driver's well-chronicled temper, his often bitter relationship with the media, and his lifelong obsession to reach Victory Lane. Perhaps the most misunderstood star in NASCAR, the new production also probes how Stewart's conflicts with the sport's establishment have made him both a hero and a catalyst for controversy. Set for release in October, 2003 (with pre-sales beginning September 1), "Tony Stewart: SMOKE" represents the fourth release in a series of increasingly popular NASCAR-themed video productions created to bring motion picture-quality home entertainment to a dedicated audience estimated at 75 million NASCAR fans. Earlier this year, the NASCAR Images / SMG partnership released "A Decade at the Brickyard" and "Road to Daytona 2003," following the 2002 debut of "Winston Cup 2002 Year in Review" - NASCAR's first-ever DVD home video release. In addition to the featured production video, consumers of the new "Tony Stewart: SMOKE" DVD will also enjoy special bonus material including a 3 Doors Down music video featuring Tony Stewart and rival NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. More info at their site: www.SportsDVDHeadquarters.com or by calling (800) 856-4266. Price of the DVD is $24.99.(Shoreline Media Group PR)(9-12-2003)

  • Stewart on the tube for the Busch race: Benny Parsons to go behind the scenes of the TNT production during NASCAR Busch Series Race. Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart will join the TNT telecast team and will join TNT play-by-play announcer Allen Bestwick and analyst Wally Dallenbach in the booth at 8:00pm/et to give his insights during TNT's coverage of the Advil presents NASCAR Busch Series Racing from Richmond. This is the third consecutive season that Stewart has worked behind the microphone for TNT, having most recently made three appearances on the network last year.. Not one to take the night off, fellow NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Benny Parsons (1973) will go behind the scenes during Friday's NASCAR Busch Series race to try his hand as a cameraman, tape operator, a pointer for RF (wireless camera) and catering assistant.(PR)(9-5-2003)

  • Stewart and Schrader do some dirt trackin': Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader love to race anything, anytime, anywhere, and this love for turning fast laps brought them to the Sheboygan County Fair Park in Plymouth, WI on Wednesday night. Both racers gave a good show on dirt in the IMCA Modified cars but they were plagued by mechanical problems most of the evening. See more to the story and images of the cars at MotorsportsTV.com.(9-5-2003)

  • Stewart to run Truck race at RIR: Tony Stewart will drive Andy Petree Racings Monaco Coaches/Diamond Rio Chevrolet in the Virginia Is For Lovers Truck Series race at Richmond. A year ago, Stewart and Petree won the event. The victory continued a string of strong runs for Petrees Truck teams, the previous ones coming with Petree himself behind the wheel. Stewart started 25th in the Richmond race a year ago but steadily made his way to the front, taking advantage of his own championship driving talents and the top-notch equipment fielded by Andy Petree Racing. He grabbed the lead from Kevin Harvick 34 laps from the end and never looked back, pulling away to a .259-second victory. Petree is also fielding a car for young up-and-coming driver Paul Menard through an ARCA, Busch and Winston Cup combination program. Menard is driving the Turtle Wax/Menards entry in Friday nights NASCAR Busch Seires race at Richmond as well, and that car will have Monaco as an associate sponsor. Petree will be back behind the wheel of the Monaco Coaches Chevrolet in the Truck Series race at Martinsville in October. Monaco Coach Corporation, a Coburg, Ore., based company has become one of the worlds leading RV manufacturer since it was founded in 1968, and remains one of the fastest-growing in the industry.(Williams Company)(9-3-2003)

  • Stewart Wins ARCA Race: Tony Stewart ran away with his first ever ARCA RE/MAX Series win at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds "We just had a blast today," said Stewart. "Some people go fishing to relax on their day off; I go racing. Just want to thank all the guys who helped with this. I love this place, and I'm really proud of this victory." Ken Schrader, in the Federated Auto Parts Pontiac, finished second with ARCA veteran Joe Cooksey third. "Tony (Stewart) was on his own page today," said Schrader. "There was no way we were going to catch him. Heck I feel good about finishing second."(see results at ThatsRacin.com)(9-2-2003)

  • Bye-Bye Rumors - Stewart Re-ups with JGR thru 2009:Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart agreed to terms of a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing that will keep him behind the wheel of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet through 2009. "I'm happy to have all of this worked out," said Stewart in regard to his new contract. "Joe Gibbs and everyone associated with Joe Gibbs Racing have been very good to me in the seven years I've been here. They've always given me everything I need out on the race track, and they've always been there to support me off the track as well. It's a very tight-knit group of hard-working people, and I look forward to spending another six years with them. The same is true with Home Depot, who I can honestly say has been the best sponsor I've had in all my years of racing. They're not just a sponsor to our race team, they're a partner and a friend. Our record of success is pretty impressive," said Stewart, "and you don't just walk away from that. I did have some very flattering offers, and it felt good to be a wanted man, but Joe Gibbs Racing and Home Depot wanted me too, and staying at a place I call 'home' just made sense. We've won a lot in our five years together in Winston Cup, and we've got a lot more wins ahead of us. I just want to thank Zippy (crew chief Greg Zipadelli), Joe and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and Home Depot for standing by me and giving me all the time I needed to make the right decision."
    "Obviously, we're very happy to have Tony with us for the foreseeable future," said Gibbs. "Along with Home Depot, he's been an important part of our organization for a number of years, and we're thankful that's going to continue."(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(8-29-2003)

  • Stewart and Gibbs to talk? a few readers tell me that Tony Stewart was on the DC101 Radio show interview on Wednesday and was asked: "What about you leaving Joe Gibbs, you leaving?" Stewart said: "I don't think so, the coach has been real good to me. We are meeting tomorrow to sit down and hopefully wrap things up." AND "I love Joe and the JGR organization and ill be going in to the shop to try and finish the deal tomorrow" he also said Joe has been more that fair to him though out his career.(8-28-2003)

  • Stewart wins in NJ: Track kingpin Billy Pauch of Frenchtown, NJ, really got down when the purse went up Wednesday [Aug 20th] at New Egypt Speedway, beating a bevy of the Northeast's best short-track stars, plus visiting celebrities Dave Blaney and Mike McLaughlin, to hit for a $6,000 score before a huge crowd in the Down & Dirty Modified 100, sponsored by CARQUEST Auto Parts. The 12-lap Challenge of Champions pitted current NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart and Dave Blaney against some of the most storied dirt-track stars in Modified history. In the sprint, Stewart proved he hadn't forgotten his roots, stamping the gas on the Team Goewey XST #20 to get the jump on polesitter Danny Johnson. With all the top hotshots chasing him, Stewart kept the pedal to the metal as the fans roared their approval. Doug Hoffman drove like a bat out of hell to catch Stewart, chewing away at his lead as the laps wound down. On the last lap, Hoffman pulled alongside the leader but Stewart shut the door coming down for the checker, and took the $1,000 victory in the winner-takes-all match race. Hoffman was second, less than half a car length back."When I come out to play, I give it everything I've got," Stewart told the appreciative crowd after his dirt-track triumph. "I was giving it all I had - I had nothing left." During the evening, Stewart met fans and signed autographs to benefit Zippy's Crusade for Kids, a charity created by his Winston Cup crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, to assist children experiencing medical, financial or social trauma. New Egypt fans donated $8,800 to the cause, with a big check being handed to Zipadelli's father, Chick, as Stewart looked on. Stewart graciously added his $1,000 Challenge of Champions winnings to the pot, raising the total to $9,800. See full story at the South Jersey Dirt Racing site.(8-23-2003)

  • Tony Stewart Foundation Kicks Off at Michigan: Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has formed his own charitable foundation.. The Tony Stewart Foundation was created to raise funds that will then be primarily distributed to organizations that help care for critically ill children, as well as to lend support to families of race car drivers who have been injured in motorsports.
    Specific charities that will benefit from the Tony Stewart Foundation will be the Victory Junction Gang Camp, Ronald McDonald Children's Charities and the Make-A-Wish Foundation - all of which have a long-standing relationship with Stewart.
    "The foundation is something that I've wanted to do for quite awhile," said Stewart.. "We've raised money for charity before, but it was always a deal here and then a deal there.. We never had anything that was ongoing.. With the foundation now in place, our fund-raising can be sustained year-round.. More people, at various times throughout the year, can now be helped."
    Stewart's first charitable contribution from the foundation that bears his name comes Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.. There, Stewart is making his first NASCAR Busch Series start in four-and-a-half years for Chance 2 Motorsports - the team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. - in the Cabela's 250.. Stewart will receive 50 percent of the winnings, with Chance 2 receiving the other 50 percent.. Stewart's share of the purse, regardless of where he finishes, will be donated to his recently formed foundation, whereupon the money will then be granted to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation.. Also going to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation will be Stewart's race-worn firesuit and helmet.
    "Driving for Junior's team meant that the Dale Earnhardt Foundation would naturally be the first recipient of any funds we raised from running the Busch race," said Stewart.. "It's an understatement to say that Dale meant a lot to everyone in the garage area.. I'm no exception.. Making our first donation to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation just seemed like the right thing to do.. They're in the business of helping people too." Those wishing to make tax-deductible contributions to the Tony Stewart Foundation can do so via the following address:
    Tony Stewart Foundation
    5671 West 74th Street
    Indianapolis, IN 46278
    (True Speed Communication PR)(8-16-2003)

  • Stewart to run MIS Busch race: Tony Stewart will be driving an orange and black Chevrolet this weekend, but it won't be his usual #20. Instead, the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion will be driving the #8 Chevy for Chance 2 Motorsports in the Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 15. The entry is owned by Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr.. Stewart and the Earnhardt's have partnered up for the one-race deal in the Cabela's 250 that will carry the names and faces of 3 Doors Down.(8-12-2003)

  • Stewart wants Zippy as part of the deal? UPDATE: According to sources, the only reason Stewart hasn't signed with Ganassi yet is Greg Zipadelli, his crew chief. Stewart wants Zipadelli, but Zipadelli isn't sure what he wants to do. It appears to be a similar situation to that which faced Ray Evernham and Jeff Gordon a few years ago. Zipadelli wants Stewart to stay with Gibbs, but Stewart - though he is not saying much - seems inclined to move on.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-8-2003)
    UPDATE: With rumors continuing to circulate concerning Tony Stewarts future post-2004  when his contract at Joe Gibbs Racing expires  Stewart said there were no changes. He and his agent/lawyer, Cary Agajanian, continue to negotiate with the intent of extending his relationship with Gibbs. Yes, said Stewart, he has talked with rival owner Chip Ganassi. I talk with Chip every week, but not about driving with him. I talk him because I see him in the garage and we know each other, Stewart said. Stressing that his contract still has another full season to run after this one, Stewart said he hadnt had the time to devote much attention to renewing the contract.(Gaston Gazette)(8-9-2003)

  • Good Answer: Car owner Chip Ganassi doesn't appear to be in any hurry to sign reigning Winston Cup series champion Tony Stewart, should he become available. Asked Friday what his timetable was to hire Stewart, Ganassi replied: "Whenever his contract is up." Stewart's contract with Joe Gibbs Racing expires after 2004, but Gibbs has presented Stewart with a long-term contract extension. Stewart has yet to sign off on the new deal and has been the subject of speculation about his future, including a possible move to Ganassi in 2005. Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, and sponsor, The Home Depot, have both agreed to extensions but are waiting for Stewart. Ganassi has previously said he would be interested in Stewart.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-8-2003)

  • Stewart wants Zippy as part of the deal? UPDATE: According to sources, the only reason Stewart hasn't signed with Ganassi yet is Greg Zipadelli, his crew chief. Stewart wants Zipadelli, but Zipadelli isn't sure what he wants to do. It appears to be a similar situation to that which faced Ray Evernham and Jeff Gordon a few years ago. Zipadelli wants Stewart to stay with Gibbs, but Stewart - though he is not saying much - seems inclined to move on.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-8-2003)
    UPDATE: With rumors continuing to circulate concerning Tony Stewarts future post-2004  when his contract at Joe Gibbs Racing expires  Stewart said there were no changes. He and his agent/lawyer, Cary Agajanian, continue to negotiate with the intent of extending his relationship with Gibbs. Yes, said Stewart, he has talked with rival owner Chip Ganassi. I talk with Chip every week, but not about driving with him. I talk him because I see him in the garage and we know each other, Stewart said. Stressing that his contract still has another full season to run after this one, Stewart said he hadnt had the time to devote much attention to renewing the contract.(Gaston Gazette)(8-9-2003)

  • Stewart's car features 'store of the week': Home Depot store #703, located in Memphis, Tenn., will be represented on the lower rear quarterpanel of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet during the Sirius Satellite Radio At The Glen. Store #703 was judged to be the outstanding store of the week, thereby earning its place on the orange and black Joe Gibbs Racing machine.(True Speed Communication PR)(8-6-2003)

  • More on Stewart/Ganassi: ....Rumors that Stewart might be considering a move to Ganassi's operation surfaced nearly a month ago and show no signs of dying down. [Crew Chief Greg] Zipadelli admits that has become something of a distraction for the team. Zipadelli said the issue has not caused a great deal of friction between him and his driver, who goes to Watkins Glen International as the defending champion of the Winston Cup race on that road course. Sources have confirmed to The Charlotte Observer that Ganassi's contract offer is for 2005 and beyond. If such a deal were to be reached now, it would present several possible scenarios for 2004. Stewart could drive for Gibbs in the final year of his contract. He could be allowed to leave and drive for Ganassi in 2004 while Gibbs finds another driver. Or, Stewart could be replaced at Gibbs, but be contractually prevented from driving in Winston Cup for another team. That, theoretically at least, could send him back to the IndyCar Series or to another form of competition for 2004. The negotiations with Ganassi do not include The Home Depot, primary sponsor of Stewart's car at Joe Gibbs Racing. If Stewart did drive for Ganassi next year, that team would likely expand to four teams with current drivers Sterling Marlin, Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray keeping their rides.(in part from ThatsRacin.com)(8-6-2003)

  • Ganassi and Stewart have spoken: Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart and car owner Chip Ganassi have spoken about teaming up at some point. Ganassi fielded an IRL car for Stewart two years ago in the Indianapolis 500 and said Friday that partnership could eventually lead to a merger. Stewart's current team, Joe Gibbs Racing, offered him a contract extension, but Stewart says he hasn't looked at it. His deal expires at the end of the 2004 season and there's been rampant speculation that Ganassi is trying to land him. "Tony drove for us a couple years ago, and we've had an ongoing rapport since then," Ganassi said. "And we have talked about the possibility of him driving a Winston Cup car for us someday if he ever became available." Stewart has repeatedly denied having any contact with Ganassi, and the car owner was not specific about when the two last talked. The discussion of Stewart's future has followed him to Indy, his home track, where is he preparing for the Brickyard 400 on Sunday. Because Gibbs likes to renew contracts before they expire - teammate Bobby Labonte re-signed last month - the talks have started with Stewart. "Any car owner on top of his game would be remiss not to try to talk to him," Ganassi said. "There's a big difference between a guy who can win races and a guy who can win championships, and Tony can win championships." NASCAR does not have rules prohibiting a car owner from pursuing a driver already under contract, although some owners wait out of respect until deals are expiring before talking to a driver. But because contracts can easily be bought out, others are more aggressive. Gibbs is currently negotiating with sponsor Home Depot and crew chief Greg Zipadelli on contract extensions to keep the team together past 2004. Those deals are believed to be close to done. The speculation over Stewart's future has swirled through the garage area for the past month or so, and is now involving other drivers and teams. Earlier Friday, Dale Jarrett used a news conference honoring former Brickyard winners to tersely deny speculation that he would leave Robert Yates Racing to take Stewart's seat at Gibbs if it opened up. The natural fit for Stewart would be joining Ganassi, who could enter him in the Indy 500 - the one race Stewart truly covets - every year. Stewart has not run Indy since Ganassi gave him a car in 2001, focusing on his Winston Cup effort the past two years. But Ganassi said the two spoke the past two years about entering the race.(Thatsracin.com/AP)(8-1-2003)

  • Jarrett staying at Yates: Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett made it clear in no uncertain terms Friday he is not leaving Robert Yates Racing and may in fact remain there until he retires from the sport. During a news conference Friday honoring former winners of the Brickyard 400, Jarrett took the opportunity to direct comments at reporters who have said he was considering leaving Yates, even returning to Joe Gibbs Racing, should Tony Stewart leave that organization. "I'll take this chance to take a second and say I am at Robert Yates Racing, I intend to be at Robert Yates Racing for quite a while and UPS is going to be the sponsor," Jarrett said. "We have been a little frustrated. We haven't been exactly happy with our performance, but that isn't any reason to quit. We'll continue to strive to get better and, hopefully, this weekend will help turn us around." Jarrett is 27th in points, with five top-10 finishes and one top-five, which was a win at Rockingham, N.C., earlier this season. "I look at it as being unfortunate, that maybe it's human nature that as people struggle they get kicked while they're down and others try to help that scenario, if you will, by starting things that they don't know anything about," he said. "I have a contract through next year. We've agreed on 2005 and 2006 in principle. it's just something that hasn't ever been a priority with Robert Yates and myself, that we have to have a piece of paper doesn't really mean a lot. It's what's in your heart."(Thatsracin.com), see my #88 Team News and Links page the recent news and rumors on this.(8-1-2003)

  • Tony Stewart teach's Today's Matt Lauer to Drive Indy: #20-Tony Stewart is scheduled to teach Matt Lauer, of NBCs Today show, how to drive on the Indianapolis Motor Speedways 2.5-mile oval. The segment will air between 7:00-8:00am/et on Friday morning. Lauer said, All the NASCAR people keep telling me how many horsepower this car has and what speeds it can reach. All I want to know is what kind of brakes it has, and how quickly it can stop!(NBC PR)(7-31-2003)

  • Gibbs offers Stewart Contact Extension: Team owner Joe Gibbs has offered reigning Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart a long-term contract extension but isn't sure whether Stewart will eventually sign the deal. "Obviously I don't have the answer. But I would expect him to stay here," Gibbs said during a teleconference Tuesday. "The most important thing for drivers is to have a place where they think they can win races. Our number one job as a race team is to make sure we're in the forefront of what's going on and that any driver would think he has a chance to win in our stuff." Stewart's current contract expires at the conclusion of the 2004 season, but Gibbs said he prefers to sign drivers and sponsors in his organization to long-term deals long before contracts expire. Already this season, Gibbs signed Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Bobby Labonte, to a contract extension and Gibbs apparently is close to announcing extensions for Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli and his team's sponsor, Home Depot, sources said. Rumors have been rampant over the past several weeks about Stewart's future. The most common scenario mentioned is Stewart moving to the Dodge camp and Chip Ganassi Racing. Asked Tuesday whether Dodge was involved in courting Stewart, John Fernandez, director of Dodge Motorsports Operations, said: "Actually we've got a great lineup of drivers that we're working with today, and I don't know if Tony is under contract with Joe Gibbs right now, so we're not pursuing Tony at this point in time." Stewart, himself, has denied looking at other teams. Tuesday, he said he had received the contract extension from Gibbs but had not reviewed it. Zipadelli said he hoped Stewart would remain with the Gibbs organization.(Thatsracin.com)(7-30-2003)

  • Stewart back to Busch: When Tony Stewart fires up his engine for the Cabelas 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday August 16, his car wont be the only thing rollin at MIS, as Grammy-nominated rock band 3 Doors Down will perform a post-race concert following the Cabelas 250. Tony Stewart will be participating in his first NASCAR Busch Series race since 1998 in a car that will feature a 3 Doors Down paint scheme for Chance 2 Motorsports car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stewart, and Earnhardt Jr. recently appeared in the bands latest video The Road Im On. The Road Im On video and song mark the follow up to 3 Doors Downs top-selling, Grammy-nominated single, When Im Gone. Both songs are featured on their multi-platinum sophomore release, Away from the Sun. Tickets are still available for the Cabelas 250, featuring the post-race concert by 3 Doors Down. All seats are just $50 and children 12 and under are admitted free. The concert will follow the completion of the Cabelas 250 in the Water Tower Lot across from the Speedways Administration building outside turn 1 of the track. For tickets, call the MIS Ticket Office at 1-800-354-1010 or go on-line at www.MISpeedway.com.(Michigan International Speedway PR)(7-30-2003)

  • The rumor that will NOT die: Stewart/Ganassi: According to Winston Salem Journal sources, car owner Chip Ganassi and sponsor Target are offering Tony Stewart five million dollars a year, plus bonuses. That would be nearly three times as much money as he's making with car owner Joe Gibbs, according to sources close to the situation. Stewart has been noncommittal about the situation, but Cary Agajanian, his agent, confirms that a number of people are interested in hiring Stewart. And according to sources the proposed Ganassi-Target contract for Stewart is a five-year deal starting at $5 million the first year, plus bonuses, and a 20-percent increase each year, with a significant part of that salary paid by Dodge. The conventional wisdom is that Stewart is simply trying to driving the price up with Gibbs, but throughout the weekend, reports have been rampant that a Stewart-Ganassi deal is all but done. And in the Indy-car world, the word is it's a done deal. Jimmy Makar, Gibbs' general manager, said, 'It's obvious he hasn't signed a contract (with Gibbs), but they're negotiating and working through it right now. They just finished up Bobby Labonte's a few weeks ago, and now they're working with Tony. But that's really between Tony and Joe. It can be a distraction, if you're not careful. It hasn't been in the past though.' One question - if Stewart leaves Gibbs, would Home Depot follow? Sources say Gibbs and Home Depot officials have all but signed a new deal in the past three weeks.
    And there are unconfirmed reports that Gibbs is already studying the market to see who's available if Stewart leaves, and rival owners expect Gibbs to make a run at Dale Jarrett if Stewart were to move. Jarrett once drove for Gibbs, and Jimmy Makar, Gibbs' manager, is married to Jarrett's sister, Patti. There are also unconfirmed reports that Gibbs is looking at Greg Biffle, and there is a push from the Indy-car world for Gibbs to take a look at Sam Hornish Jr. and even Sarah Fisher.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-28-2003)

  • UPS Not Happy? Robert Yates squelched rumors about selling his team, but buzz persists regarding driver Dale Jarrett and the UPS sponsorship. With a yearly investment of $16 million, UPS isn't taking the recent turmoil on the #88 team lightly, and there has been talk that if Jarrett leaves Yates, UPS will go with him. That would make for an impressive package for an organization looking for a sponsor. Some believe Jarrett, the 1999 Winston Cup champion, will finish his career with Joe Gibbs Racing and team manager Jimmy Makar, his brother-in-law.(Sporting News)(7-28-2003)

  • Yates to Gibbs? REWORDED: Charlotte's WSOC-TV Channel 9's Harold Johnson reported on Wednesday that Robert Yates Racing RYR #38/88] would merge with Joe Gibbs Racing or another organization. The report was taken so seriously by RYR that Robert Yates supposedly met with the team this morning to let them know there was NO truth to the rumor.(100% reported by XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(7-24-2003)

  • Soap Box Derby UPDATE add Stewart: #32-Ricky Craven and #25-Joe Nemechek will fly to Akron, OH, following the final practice session at Pocono Raceway on Saturday afternoon. The two drivers will attend the 66th-annual All-American Soap Box Championship at Derby Downs in Akron, where they will present trophies to the winners of the event. Craven and Nemechek will also take part in a special match race in adult-sized soap box racers.(PPI Motorsports PR), also for more info, see the All-American Soap Box Derby site.(7-22-2003)
    ADD STEWART: Following Saturday's final practice for the Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, Home Depot Chevrolet driver Tony Stewart will fly to Akron, Ohio to participate in festivities surrounding the 66th running of the All-American Soap Box Derby. The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer and title sponsor of the All-American Soap Box Derby, invited Stewart to take a break from his Winston Cup duties to join the 430 youngsters competing for more than $50,000 in scholarship awards. "Soap Box racing is all about the kids," said Stewart, who started racing go-karts at age seven and was a three-time karting champion.. "I've been in their shoes, where you're doing all you can to be your best, and testing your hard work against a bunch of other kids who are doing the same thing.. Being in Akron is the payoff for all of their efforts, and I'm happy to share in the excitement with them."(True Speed Communication PR)(7-23-2003)

  • Stewart and Gibbs talking contract: #20-Tony Stewart's car owner Joe Gibbs has started renegotiating with him. There are 18 months remaining on Stewart's contract, but Gibbs would like to put the issue to rest and eliminate rumors. Gibbs has re-signed crew chief Greg Zipadelli.(more 'Dish' at Sporting News)(7-21-2003)

  • Stewart and the HANS: #20-Tony Stewart used a Head And Neck Support (HANS) device during a race for the first time in Sunday's New England 300, team officials confirmed. Stewart was among the few drivers who had not used one of the two approved head and neck support devices before NASCAR mandated them in the fall of 2001. He said claustrophobia made it difficult for him to feel comfortable to use the HANS, and when the restraints became required he opted to use the less restrictive Hutchens device until Sunday.(Thatsracin.com)(7-21-2003)

  • Stewart Wins: Fans poured into Thompson International Speedway Wednesday to see reigning Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart put on an exhibition match race with fellow driver Jimmy Spencer. But they got much more than a match race. Stewart surprised the crowd by entering the regularly scheduled 30-lap NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series SK Modified feature. Starting from the back of the field, Stewart put on a clinic, using racing lines that most wouldn't dare on his way to winning the SK feature.(Hartford Courant)(7-17-2003)

  • ESPY's NASCAR goes 1 for 2: EPSN's annual awards show, the ESPY's aired Wed, July 15th on ESPN. Some NASCAR related nominations include:
    Best Breakthrough Athlete nominees: with Jimmie Johnson going against LeBron James, Yao Ming, Clinton Portis and Alfonso Soriano.
    Best Driver: Tony Stewart is up against Gil de Ferran, John Force, Sam Hornish, Jr., and Michael Schumacher.(7-16-2003)
    UPDATE - results 1 for 2:
    Best Driver was won by Tony Stewart
    Best Breakthrough Athlete was won by baseball player Alfonso Soriano. See more at EPSN's ESPY's Page, see story at Foxsports(7-17-2003)

  • Stewart Gets a Peak at Homestead: About 45 minutes before midnight on July 7, a dark-haired man in a rental car pulled up to the main gate of Homestead-Miami Speedway, asking the security guard to see the track. The unexpected visitor whipped out an official NASCAR ID card. OK, it was enough for Bruno to at least make a phone call, despite knowing he would probably wake his boss, track vice president of operations Al García. ''Hey, Al,'' Bruno said. ``You'll never believe this, but I've got Tony Stewart here. I swear. I have his ID.'' García, who indeed had been sleeping, was ''shocked'' and not exactly convinced. He asked Bruno to put the man claiming to be the defending Winston Cup champion on the phone. The voice on the other end said: ``Hey Al, I'm coming back from the Keys and can't get on my plane for another hour or two." Stewart went on to explain that he had been scuba diving in Key Largo (on the day after the Pepsi 400 in Daytona Beach) and needed 12 hours to decompress between diving and flying. So, since he still had time to kill and just happened to be in the neighborhood, Stewart figured he would drop by to see how the $10 million reconfiguration project to add 18 to 20 degrees of banking was progressing. García was now convinced, and a few minutes later the champion driver and the security guard were driving around the apron of the 1.5-mile oval in the dark in Stewart's rental car. Stewart said Tuesday it was difficult to see much with only the headlights of his car, ``but it looked like they did a lot of work in a short amount of time. From what the guy told me, they are going to put up one more foot of dirt and then start paving. I'm excited to see what it's going to be like.'' When told that the computer simulation done by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. shows that there will be three distinct racing grooves on the track, which will have unique variable banking, Stewart was about as convinced as García was when he first heard that Stewart was at his track at midnight. ''We'll see,'' Stewart said. 'I hope it's not like the Dynos [short for dynamometer, a machine that measures an engine's horsepower]. A Dyno will say this motor is better and we should win and then when we don't, the guys will say, `But the Dyno said we should win.' I've never got a paycheck or a trophy from a Dyno.''(see full story at the Miami Herald)(7-16-2003)

  • Stewart Says NO: Tuesday morning, Tony Stewart again denied rumors that he was leaving Joe Gibbs Racing and said no other teams have contacted him.(NASCAR.com)(7-16-2003)

  • More on Stewart and Gibbs UPDATE 3 announcement today? NO DENIED: Will Tony Stewart stay at Joe Gibbs Racing? The reigning Winston Cup champion's contract runs through the end of next season, but team owner Joe Gibbs knows his driver is receiving feelers from other teams wondering if he could get out of his contract to drive for them next season. "I'd say there's probably a lot of people that have been trying to come after him," Gibbs said. "One thing about this sport is that if you're real good, chances are there's going to be some people knocking at your door." Gibbs said the team's management is "kind of working on" a contract extension with Stewart and would prefer to re-sign him to a long-term extension. Gibbs recently re-signed teammate Bobby Labonte to an extension, and Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, has told Stewart that Gibbs wants to talk to him about an extension. Gibbs seems confident that Stewart will want to stay put. "I know that I feel real good about our relationship," Gibbs says. "I think we speak the same language. I think what Tony's interested in, first and foremost, is where he can win the most races. I feel pretty good about that."(USA Today)
    AND Tony Stewart's future is a hot issue in the Winston Cup garage, but Cary Agajanian, his business manager, yesterday declined to comment on widespread reports that Target has targeted the NASCAR champion with plans to buy out the final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs and move him to Chip Ganassi's Dodge team, replacing Casey Mears. Doug Duchardt, the head of GM racing, said he expects Stewart to remain in the Chevy camp. "There is probably interest in Tony, but certainly we want to keep Tony and Joe Gibbs Racing in Chevrolets for a long time, so we're working that through with Joe." The prospect for Stewart in a Ganassi ride? "I'd be surprised if that's the case," Duchardt said.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-14-2003)
    MORE UPDATES: Amid rampant speculation that Tony Stewart might consider testing NASCAR's open market or even returning to the Indy Racing League, the reigning Winston Cup champion and team owner Joe Gibbs said this weekend they are in the process of negotiating a contract extension. Gibbs recently re-signed his other driver, 2000 Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte. Stewart's contract expires at the end of next season, which will be his fifth with Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart said the only holdup is finding time for him and Gibbs to sit down and talk. "Joe's been gone and I've been gone, but I know he re-signed Bobby already and Greg (crew chief Zipadelli) talked to me about Joe wanting to sign me soon," Stewart said. "So I'm sure it will happen pretty soon." Sponsor Home Depot has agreed to up the ante knowing Stewart's asking price is bound to increase. Gibbs said he's not surprised that rumors have surfaced about other owners being interested in Stewart, who has finished in the top 10 of the standings in all four of his Winston Cup seasons and has won 16 races. "There's probably a lot of people that have been trying to come after him," Gibbs said. "One thing about this sport is that if you're real good, chances are there's going to be some people knocking at your door." But Gibbs said he's confident of keeping the 32-year-old driver. "We're hard at work for the future trying to get something done," the former NFL champion coach said. "We like long-term deals, and that's what we're kind of working on."(Indianapolis Star)
    HOWEVER the Winston Salem Journal continues to report....Tony Stewart will hold a press conference today at which he may discuss rumors of a possible contract buyout by Target in a deal that would move him to Chip Ganassi's Dodge team. Those reports come amid Stewart's contract renegotiations with Joe Gibbs.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-15-2003)
    UPDATE 3: been informed that Stewart is NOT holding a press conference today and is simply the third guest on the Winston Teleconference, following Ricky Craven and Call Wells. The #20 team and Stewart has had numerous interview requests from New England media as they prepare for the New England 300, and they thought that making Tony available via the Winston Teleconference would be the best way to take care of those interview requests. Mr. Mulhern's report in the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal is inaccurate.(Team Sources)(7-15-2003)

  • Andretti and Ganassi? UPDATE and more on Stewart: Rookie Casey Mears may be on the hot seat at Chip Ganassi's, and crew chief Jimmy Elledge said he realizes the team will have to pick up its performance the second half of the season [seems to have done pretty good at Chicago so far]. Mears' best finish is a 15th at Las Vegas, and his average is 29.0. 'I'm sure the boss isn't too happy this team is on this side of the garage (34th in the standings),' Elledge said. 'I haven't heard anything ... but if we don't pick up, we may all be looking for jobs.' John Andretti [sure won't be Michael] is one name being mentioned for the ride. Andretti was under consideration for the ride last fall.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-12-2003)
    UPDATE: Chip Ganassi was adamant: Casey Mears will not be released in the near-future, nor is Tony Stewart signed to be his replacement. As far as I know, Tony Stewart is still under contract, Ganassi says. But who in his right mind wouldn't consider hiring a former Winston Cup champ if he was available? Ganassi, whose Cup teams use Dodges, says Joe Gibbs, Stewart's current boss, can offer the driver more, but that's rubbish. Sterling Marlin proved last year that Ganassi's equipment is capable of winning a NASCAR championship. The bigger prize for Stewart could be winning the Indy 500, a feat Ganassi accomplished with Juan Montoya in 2000. Stewart already is building his relationship with Dodge through his World of Outlaws team, and DaimlerChrysler would be thrilled to have him behind the wheel of an Intrepid in Winston Cup.(Sporting News)(7-14-2003)

  • Stewart Looking? UPDATE 3 - DENIED: Though Bobby Labonte re-signed with Joe Gibbs Racing [thru 2008] , there are persistent rumors that teammate and defending Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart is looking for a new ride. Stewart's contract doesn't expire until 2004, and it would take deep pockets to buy out the remaining year.(Sporting News)(7-7-2003)
    UPDATE: The big news in the Tony Stewart camp is yet another unconfirmed report about Stewart's future: Will he jump to Chip Ganassi's Dodge operation? It is being rumored that Dodge wants to sign Stewart to a five-year contract. If so, would Home Depot stay with Joe Gibbs or follow Stewart to Ganassi? Already there is talk that Stewart, in his negotiations with Ted Johnson to find a new owner of the World of Outlaws, has been talking with Home Depot execs about its becoming title sponsor of that series. And if Stewart were to leave, would crew chief Greg Zipadelli go with him? Right now Stewart would simply like to get back to winning. "People talk about momentum in this sport and how important it is,' Stewart said. 'We'd like to create a little bit of our own. This is typically the point in the season where we excel, and we need to make the most of it. We have four DNFs already this year, so we need to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-10-2003)
    UPDATE 2: The latest rumor, offered by no fewer than two respected publications, has Tony Stewart leaving Joe Gibbs Racing for Chip Ganassi Racing. However, Stewart still has more than a year remaining on his contract with Gibbs, and if he's frustrated with his current employer, he's made no public remarks to that effect. If Tony Stewart's in at Ganassi and Home Depot stays put, would Casey Mears be the odd man out? For Gibbs, do you promote veteran Mike Bliss or son Coy into the No. 20? Or could another veteran with star power -- Dale Jarrett, perhaps -- be enticed into switching from Ford to Chevrolet?(more at a column on NASCAR.com)(7-11-2003)
    UPDATE 3: after Stewart win the pole and was in the media center, David Poole of Thatsracin.com asked about the rumors of him leaving Gibbs. As heard on XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio, Stewart talked about the contract deal in the media center and said he hasn't read the latest rumor mill [and doesn't read the papers, uses them in his fireplace only]. Stewart said "That's not a rumor that's true. My contract is up at the end of next year. Joe's been gone and I've been gone but I know that he resigned Bobby already and. I know that Greg had talked to me about Joe [Gibbs] wanting to re sign me soon so I'm sure that will happen pretty soon.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(7-11-2003)

  • Stewart was fast: Did you know Tony Stewart posted his 10th NASCAR Winston Cup victory earlier in his career than any driver in the modern era. His 10th victory came at Richmond on May 5, 2001, in his 79th career race. It was the quickest that a driver had posted 10 victories since Dick Hutcherson posted his 10th win on March 20, 1966, in his 61st career race.(Insider Racing News)(7-7-2003)

  • Tony HANS ready: Tony Stewart is about to start wearing a HANS device while racing. Stewart was the last Winston Cup holdout before NASCAR made it mandatory in October 2001 for drivers to wear head and neck restraints in the aftermath of Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s death from head injuries in 2001. Because he is claustrophobic, Stewart chose to wear the less-constrictive Hutchens Device, which uses belts and straps, rather than the Head And Neck Support, a collar that restricts mobility. But that is about to change. ``We're still wearing the Hutchens,'' Stewart said. ``But we recently have been working with the HANS device at test sessions, trying to get more comfortable with it. Test results that we've seen have shown a pretty big discrepancy as far as HANS vs. Hutchens.'' The biggest problem in the switch remains comfort. ``We're trying to see what we can do to make it comfortable to wear,'' Stewart said. ``Kind of the same things we had to do with the Hutchens. It took time to get comfortable with it. We're taking the opportunity during test sessions to try to fabricate cars with the HANS device and trying to make it more comfortable for me.''(Tampa Tribune)(7-5-2003)

  • Part of an interview with Joe Gibbs: a recent interview with Cup/Busch car owner Joe Gibbs at the Sports Business Daily where he discussed a new business venture he's got with his son Coy:
    THE DAILY: One of your latest business ventures is a company called Joe Gibbs Performance, which is the brainchild of your son COY. What's that all about?
    Gibbs: We're working with GM, and we'll be coming out with a truck. Basically, it's going to have a different look to it. It'll be a Joe Gibbs Performance look, and then it's going to have a performance enhancement to it. We're going to be putting out 1,000 Silverados and hopefully 1,000 Tahoes ... over the next 2 1/2 to three years. We're in the car business, and we think that we have a feel for looks  what people like  and performance. It's a new venture for us, and we're excited about kicking it off.(Sports Business Daily, need subscription to read)(6-13-2003)

  • Bliss in a third Gibbs car? UPDATE #80: Mike Bliss reportedly will drive a third Winston Cup car for Joe Gibbs Racing at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona and the EA Sports 500 at Talladega in September. Bliss currently drives for Gibbs in the Busch Series.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read)(5-29-2003)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announced Saturday that they will field a third car out of their Huntersville, NC shops for the Daytona and Talladega races this season. Piloting what will be the #80 Chevy is 2002 Truck Series champion Mike Bliss. Sponsorship for the team will be coming from one of Joe Gibbs Racing's major associate sponsors. GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder), a leading asthma maintenance product, will be the primary sponsor of the #80 car. Earlier this year, GSK and Joe Gibbs Racing announced a joint asthma education initiative, Racing Against Asthma, designed to help raise awareness of Advair and help bring information about asthma and effective asthma management to the public. As part of the education initiative, fans attending the Daytona and Talladega races will have the opportunity to visit the Racing Against Asthma trackside education center, which offers free lung function testing and interactive displays that provide fans with an engaging way to learn more about asthma. In his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, Bliss, the driver of the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevy in the Busch Series sits in seventh-place in the current point standings. With 30 NASCAR Winston Cup career starts under his belt, Bliss is no stranger to the big leagues of NASCAR, but admits this opportunity is the best he has ever had in his career and something he is very excited about. "It's a great opportunity for me and I hope I can contribute to this whole effort," said an elated Bliss. "I have always said in the past that I never wanted to go back to 'Cup' unless the opportunity was right or it was with a capable team, so it's easy to see why I'm excited. I am looking forward to working with Jimmy Makar and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing to make this project successful." In light of the current environment within the Winston Cup garage and the level of competition on the track, Joe Gibbs Racing felt as though the time was right to add a third car to an already successful program. It will be a big undertaking with a lot of extra man-hours for all involved, but the thought behind the program is that the benefits will far outweigh any negatives. It will also allow the entire Joe Gibbs Racing operation to gain extra information that would otherwise be unattainable without the addition of the third car at these particular events. "With as tough as the competition has become in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, we felt the timing was right to add a car for a couple of races to benefit our overall race program," said J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We owe it to all of our sponsors to make sure we are as competitive as possible every week on the track. Adding this car at Daytona and Talladega will allow us to continue to do that. We are every excited that Advair Diskus has agreed to be the primary sponsor for this special initiative.. Our relationship with Advair Diskus has been great for Bobby Labonte and the '18' team this year and we look forward to having them play a bigger role in the sponsorship of that team next year." Heading up the program will be veteran crew chief and Joe Gibbs Racing's first employee, Jimmy Makar. After serving as crew chief of the Gibbs owned #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for 11 seasons, Makar made the move up to Team Manager at the conclusion of the 2002 season to help manage the continually growing race operations. With 13 years experience behind him and considered by his peers as one of the best ever, Makar is excited at the opportunity to get back to the track and call the shots again. "This is something we have been discussing for quite some time and I am excited to be able to be a part of it," admitted Makar. "Looking at what's going on in the garage area today, we felt like the time was perfect to give this a try. This will also be a great opportunity for Mike. I have great confidence that he will do a good job for us and it will enable us to gather a lot of information we have otherwise not been able to obtain. It will also give us a chance to try some things we wouldn't normally try."(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(6-14-2003)

  • Benson comes in 2nd: Tim DeVos, the current Late Model points leader at Berlin Raceway, outdueled hometown boy [and track owner] Johnny Benson to win the Meijer/Tony's Pizza 100. Benson, a one-time track champion here, and Tony Stewart, the defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion who won the Pocono 500 two days earlier, displayed their skills in front of a season-high crowd of 6,517 race fans who took a chance on the weather and won that battle..(Holland Sentinel)(6-11-2003)

  • Gibbs Racing gets the #20 back: The #20 Home Depot Chevy of Joe Gibbs Racing, impounded March 28 by NASCAR for failing to meet its body measurement specifications during pre-event inspection of the race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, was released in part Tuesday to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, NASCAR officials announced. Joe Gibbs Racing was allowed to retrieve the chassis and engine of the #20 entry, but NASCAR will retain the body since it did not meet the specifications of the 2003 Chevrolet body submitted by General Motors. "We met with the teams in September of last year and clearly laid out to them what our goals and objectives were in regard to the construction of the bodies and inspection process for the 2003 season," NASCAR Winston Cup Series Director John Darby said. "We have a tremendous amount of support in the garage for these objectives  of which the specifications and body types are very critical for NASCAR's aerodynamic goals and direction  and this was done in support of all those teams who are doing it correctly." During the impoundment period of nearly 10 weeks, the #20 car was checked against the car templates, re-measured and late last week underwent a full-body digital scan process that records all the measurements and angles of the car in a digital file. During the entire impoundment period, the #20 car was held under lock and key in a totally secured storage room at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, NC.(NASCAR PR)(6-10-2003)

  • Stewart Leaving NC? NASCAR champ Tony Stewart, on the road constantly, plans to leave North Carolina for a return to his native Indiana. Owner of two luxurious homes in the Tarheel State which are for sale, he was quoted as telling one prospective buyer. ...and Ill leave the Ferrari in the garage. Earl Baltes told this columnist in Indy recently that Tony is a prime candidate to be the new owner of his Eldora Speedway.(National Speed Sport News - need subscription to read online)(6-7-2003)

  • Stewart wins Sprint Race: Tony Stewart may be the defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion, but last night at Williams Grove Speedway [PA] he was just one of the guys. Stewart and Winston Cup race Dave Blaney stopped by the Cumberland County half-mile oval for the first time and signed 800 autographs. Then they climbed aboard a modified stock car and raced 20 laps against a select number of drivers. Stewart won a nicely scripted modified race while Blaney was second and Billy Pauch was third. Stewart, who raced USAC Midgets, Sprint Cars and Silver Crown cars before transitioning into the NASCAR circuits, raced in a midget race Wednesday night at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill. Stewart destroyed a car after flipping late in the feature race.(Patriot-News)(6-6-2003)

  • #20 to test at NHIS: Crew chief Greg Zipadelli said that Tony Stewart 's team plans to test at New Hampshire later this month.(Roanoke Times)(6-4-2003)

  • NASCAR gives a car and engine to Toyota? UPDATE 2 NASCAR denies: Another of the big stories here concerns car owner Bill Davis, who spent most of the day repeating 'No comment.' The bottom line is Dodge's one, big happy family isn't so happy, or as big, anymore, with the abrupt decision by DaimlerChrysler to cut Davis' two-car operation out of the fold a little more than a year after Davis and Ward Burton put Dodge in victory lane at Daytona. When Dodge returned to NASCAR's top division three years ago, it came with Ray Evernham, Petty Enterprises and Davis. Since then, Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske have jumped on the train, and those two Indy-car giants have been overshadowing Dodge's original threesome. Dodge's decision to drop factory support of the Davis team, because DaimlerChrysler officials hint the team has been providing technical advice to Toyota, was the talk of the Winston Cup garage yesterday ... except in Davis' hauler, where he and his crew were mum. 'No comment for the foreseeable future,' is all Davis is saying this weekend.
    AND The surprising Dodge move has some key Winston Cup figures thinking that Toyota may be preparing to jump into Winston Cup racing sooner than expected. Tony Stewart said he has been told that NASCAR officials have given his Texas car to Toyota engineers for scrutiny -- NASCAR confiscated that car for uncertain reasons, and the sanctioning body hasn't given it back. Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief, said NASCAR also has given a Robert Yates' Ford motor to Toyota for detailed examination, in order to give Toyota a quicker jump out of the box. Stewart and Zipadelli are angry over those developments.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-31-2003)
    UPDATE - denied bt NASCAR: NASCAR strongly denied published reports that it gave parts confiscated from the Winston Cup garage to the Toyota startup effort. One such written account attributed Tony Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli saying NASCAR had given Toyota the #20 Home Depot Chevy, which was confiscated during the Texas race weekend. The same report indicated NASCAR had given Toyota the Robert Yates Racing engine confiscated during The Winston weekend. However, NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communication, Jim Hunter, addressing both allegations said that the parts are still in NASCARs impound in the Concord, N.C., Research and Development Center. Hunter added, We spoke with [Joe] Gibbs last Tuesday about getting the parts back to the car, that we're going to give him and he's working to comply with the requirements. NASCAR would never give a competitor a confiscated part," Hunter added. "It would be foolish to put confiscated parts back into circulation."(Team Ford Racing)(6-1-2003)
    UPDATE 2 - more: Hunter said on an XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio interview that the #20 team would be getting most of the car back, but not the body as it didn't conform with the template rules. And that the story that NASCAR gave the car and the #88 engine to Toyota was ludicrous [ludicrous speed?] saying why would NASCAR want to put illegal parts back into circulation.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required), heard this 'rumor' was started as 'fun' by a Cup driver/crew chief., to see if it would get picked up.(6-4-2003)

  • Stewart Stormy UPDATE: The snarl on his face never left as Tony Stewart stormed past reporters on his walk down pit road following Sunday's MBNA Armed Forces Family 400 at Dover International Speedway. He walked past Ryan Newman's car, which was coming in for its coronation in victory lane, and snarled again. Then he stopped, turned around and yelled an expletive. It was hard to determine if it was directed at Newman, who prevented Stewart from getting back on the lead lap midway through the race, or if it was directed at the unknown NASCAR official who penalized Stewart one lap for stopping outside the box on a pit stop. Afterward, Stewart kept walking briskly to his trailer, the snarl omnipresent. He whipped the door open and slammed it shut, disappearing for good. After several minutes, Stewart's public relations director emerged and said Stewart had left. "How?" he was asked. "You must have blinked," the P.R. director responded.(Delaware News Journal)(6-2-2003)
    UPDATE: Stewart soon had a chance to get his lap back, and when a yellow flag came, he needed to beat leader Newman to the start-finish line to do so. One of the sport's unwritten rules says if a race leader can let a driver he thinks isn't a threat to win back onto the lead lap, he should. The way Stewart was running, he clearly could have been considered a threat. Newman certainly thought he was. Imagine what Newman would be dealing with, had he allowed Stewart back on the lead lap and Stewart won the race. As it was, Stewart finished fourth and moved up to 16th in points, so that would have been a real possibility. Stewart, who didn't talk to the media after the race, was still able to clearly express his feelings with the following:
    " Nearly putting Newman into the wall during the ensuing caution.
    " Making an obscene gesture toward Newman's crew during a later pit stop.
    " Yelling at Newman's crew chief, Matt Borland, after the race.
    "We're racers," said Newman. "We compete against each other and try to be friends, but it's a competitive sport. He's not going to invite me to dinner tonight. There have been times I haven't wanted to invite him to dinner either, but we can get through it. To me, it was his own fault. What happened, happened."(Charlotte Observer)(6-3-2003)

  • Bliss in a third Gibbs car? Mike Bliss reportedly will drive a third Winston Cup car for Joe Gibbs Racing at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona and the EA Sports 500 at Talladega in September. Bliss currently drives for Gibbs in the Busch Series.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read)(5-29-2003)

  • Tony Stewart, promoter? UPDATE 2 Not Interested: The World of Outlaws reportedly is having financial problems, and garage sources say Stewart might become the new owner/promoter of the open-wheel series. A possible bidding war could occur between Stewart and Speedway Motorsports, which also has expressed interest in purchasing the series. Word is the price could be $5 million.(Sporting News)
    AND At least three trailers, a souvenir rig and a pace truck belonging to owners of a dirt-track sprint racing series were seized late Saturday by Cabarrus County [NC] sheriff's deputies, authorities said. The court-ordered seizure about 8 p.m. at or near Lowe's Motor Speedway followed a civil suit filed by Wheeler Television Inc. against World of Outlaws Inc., which owns the racing series. The Charlotte-based Wheeler Television is run by Patti Wheeler, daughter of Lowe's Motor Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler. The suit seeks money reportedly owed to Wheeler Television, which last year produced taped segments of World of Outlaws racing for broadcast on the Speed Channel. The racing circuit features 1,200-pound sprint cars that race around smaller, high-banked dirt tracks. It was not immediately clear what effect, if any, the seizures would have on future World of Outlaws events. Richard Day, series spokesman, could not be reached Sunday. According to the company's Web site, the next scheduled race is today at Lebanon Valley Speedway, about 18 miles southeast of Albany, NY.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-26-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart has no interest in purchasing the financially strapped O'Reilly World of Outlaws. Stewart's name has surfaced as a potential replacement for Ted Johnson, the founder/owner of the Allen-based Sprint Car series. Outlaws property was seized last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., after a court order was issued following a civil suit filed by Wheeler Television Inc. According to the National Speed Sport News, the Outlaws owe Wheeler Television more than $500,000 for the production of programming in 2002. Stewart is involved in the open-wheel series as a car owner for friend and former champion Danny Lasoski. A possible suitor could be Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc., which previously expressed interest. The asking price reportedly could start at $ 5 million.(Fort Worth Star Ledger)(5-29-2003)

  • Newman Accepts Blame for Winston: After watching replays of his wreck in The Winston last week, #12-Ryan Newman admitted yesterday he lost control of his Dodge. He initially blamed Tony Stewart for the crash. "I went up to Tony and said, 'I had to blame it on somebody,' " Newman said. "He said 'I was 4 feet behind me.' I said, 'I know, it's still your fault.' . . . It was obviously my fault."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-24-2003)

  • Stewart in MIS Busch race: In a several-sided arrangment in which everyone presumably gets something, Tony Stewart will make a cameo in Busch at Michigan in August, in one of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Chance 2 cars (co-owned with Teresa Earnhardt) and in collaboration with 3 Doors Down, a rock band on the Republic/Universal Label, and ubiquitous Action Performance, whose best property at present is Earnhardt Jr. Pictures of the show car, which is orange, has pictures of the band members on it, carries the #8, and has the nickname "Smoke" above the door are available, as are the toy cars and other trinkets, from Action outlets. "Action Performance is the exclusive supplier of all Chance 2 Motorsports team replica collectibles, including the 3 Doors Down race car," the release said.(Speed Channel), see image and past news on my Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site - Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-24-2003)

  • Stewart against banking: Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart, who has won two of the four Cup races at Homestead Miami Speedway, says the upcoming project to add banking to the flat track is unnecessary. "We ran two and three wide at times down there last year," Stewart said. "I don't understand track owners. They always have to copy somebody else's place, and they think they have to reinvent the wheel."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-24-2003)

  • Rock n' Roll at Richmond in Sept UPDATE 2: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. featuring the band Staind; #20-Tony Stewart featuring the band Diamond Rio; #15-Michael Waltrip featuring the band Hootie & The Blow Fish; will run at Richmond in Sept. Supposedly the "Chevy Rocks" program is said to be similar to the Looney Tunes program ran at Richmond the last couple of years in that it will include many Chevy teams from Cup and maybe some Busch and Truck Series.(4-25-2003)
    UPDATE: add Busch driver #2 Ron Hornaday with the band Trapt and #30 Steve Park (sure is weird not putting #1) with Third Eye Blind.(5-16-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Warner Music Group (WMG), Chevrolet and Action Performance Companies, Inc. announced today that some of the hottest names in music and NASCAR will team up for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCARâ Winston Cup Series race on Saturday, September 6 "under the lights" at Richmond International Raceway. The campaign kicked off today in the Chevrolet Rock & Roll Tour at Charlotte's Food Lion Speed Street festival and featured a performance by Elektra Recording artists Third Eye Blind and appearances from NASCAR drivers #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Michael Waltrip and #25-Joe Nemechek (with Uncle Kracker). In addition, representatives from WMG, Chevrolet, Richmond International Raceway and Action Performance unveiled the official Chevy Rock & Roll 400 pace car and event logo. Steve Park and his #30 AOL Chevrolet show car featuring Third Eye Blind were also on hand for the announcement.(RIR PR), see full PR and images of the #8, #15, #25, #30 on my Paint Scheme Gallery page, also, #29-Kevin Harvick is part of the program and will be paired with the band ZZ Top.(5-22-2003)

  • Tony Goes Country: On tonight's [5/21] Academy of Country Music Awrds, reigning NASCAR Winston Cup champ Tony Stewart will introduce Diamond Rio before the band performs the current single, "I Believe." Hosted by Reba McEntire, the show at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas will be broadcast live on CBS at 8:00pm/et, with a delayed telecast for the West Coast at 8:00pm/pt.(MotorsportsTV)(5-21-2003)

  • Former Philly Eagle to be involved in NASCAR former Philadelphia Eagle [Jayski team] and Green Bay Packer [booo] Reggie White and one of his old rivals announced a partnership on Saturday they hope will increase minority involvement in motorsports. With the financial backing of Joe Gibbs Racing, Gibbs and White said they will start looking for promising young minority drivers, mechanics and crew chiefs to run Late Model Sportsmen races at Charlotte-area tracks in 2004. "Black kids haven't had a chance to get into this sport," said Gibbs. "We want to do what's best for young people and for the sport." NASCAR hasn't traditionally been a large draw to blacks - either as fans or participants. A team that was to be owned by former NFL player Joe Washington and the NBA's Julius Erving never got off the ground. The late Wendell Scott won a race and a pole in the 1960s and was followed by Willy T. Ribbs, who experienced limited success. Bill Lester was the first black to win a pole for a modern-era NASCAR race when he qualified first for Friday's inaugural Truck Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Gibbs said he has already identified a few young black drivers and is looking for more. He also said that while he will concentrate on finding black drivers, he won't ignore other minorities. "That's our push," he said. "But we're not restricting it (to blacks)." Gibbs said he hoped to begin with two to five teams in 2004. His team will fund the operations - each costing between $50,000-$100,000 a year - whether sponsors step forward or not. "I'm intrigued by this," said White, who lives in the Charlotte area and got interested in racing after he played for the Carolina Panthers in 2000. "I think it boils down to black children not being able to afford getting into the sport. Look at golf, where there was the same situation. Tiger Woods helped there, and maybe we'll find the next Tiger Woods in NASCAR." Said Gibbs: "I think it's coming. This should be a sport for all Americans, for everybody. When you go to a race track, there should be huge following of all kinds of cultural backgrounds, I think. Because everybody loves cars."(in part from ThatsRacin.com)
    AND Former NFL rivals Joe Gibbs and Reggie White announced yesterday they will field several Late Model cars at short tracks in the Charlotte, NC, area next season in hopes of fostering minority involvement in NASCAR. White and Gibbs had talked over the past 18 months about White's hopes to form a NASCAR team. But because sponsors were difficult to find, Gibbs decided on a grass-roots approach. "This will be good for Reggie because he'll get in on the ground floor," Gibbs said. "We're looking for sponsors, but it isn't subject to it. We'll start immediately, spend our own money and go full speed ahead." White became hooked on NASCAR only recently but is interested in being an owner. "I'm really intrigued by the opportunity to get into sport and help minorities," said White, a star defensive end who played for Green Bay, Philadelphia and Carolina. "I know it's been a big concern for NASCAR. One of the things I'm excited about is it also gives inner-city kids a chance to make contacts with corporate America. We could raise up a kid who could be the next Tiger Woods in NASCAR." Gibbs and White are soliciting applications from potential drivers and crew members who are at least 18 and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Resumes should be mailed to Joe Gibbs Racing Diversity Program, c/o Steve de Souza, 13451 Reese Blvd. W, Huntersville, NC 28078.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-18-2003)

  • Stewart, Earnhardt Jr., 3 Doors Down music video: on Monday night, March 10th in Concord, NC, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart filmed a music video for the band 3 Doors Down. The group chose Concord for its video locale because of the racing theme behind it. The plot line, loosely, is that a woman is stopped at a red light (at the square in downtown Concord) in a red Jeep Wrangler when Earnhardt Jr. pulls up beside her and begins flirting. Soon after, Stewart pulls up on the other side and begins to compete for her attention. The two rival drivers appear to quickly forget the girl and set off drag racing, leaving her behind. The racers in the video will tear through the streets and barrel through the woods only to emerge at a race track (Concord Motorsports Park) where a 3 Doors Down concert is in progress [along with a late model race]. They circle the track a few times and tear off into the woods again. For the links to the video (Real Audio or Window's Media formats) see the Drivers/NASCAR Personalities On TV section of my Driver Appearances page(pretty cool video by the way).(5-16-2003)

    3 Doors Down "The Road I'm On" video links (5-16-2003): (click on the links to view)
    Windows Media or Real Audio

  • New McDonald's/NASCAR Commercial: McDonald's will launch its newly-created NASCAR advertising campaign during Sunday's FOX telecast of the Auto Club 500 Winston Cup race. The new series of commercials is an enhancement to the inaugural McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Tony Stewart and Kyle Petty are featured in three different versions of the 30-second commercials, produced by DDB Chicago, McDonald's national advertising agency. Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet and the reigning NASCAR Winston Cup champion, has firsthand knowledge of the similarities between a NASCAR crew and a McDonald's restaurant crew. As a teenager, Stewart worked as a McDonald's crew person [as did Jayski].(PR)(4-27-2003)

  • So...what is up with that #20 impounded car? Meanwhile, NASCAR Winston Cup series director John Darby updated Autoweek on the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, impounded by NASCAR on March 28 at Texas Motor Speedway after a template irregularity was found during the initial inspection process. The Joe Gibbs Racing, Tony Stewart car remains at NASCARs Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. Were close to finishing up our [assessment] process on the car, Darby said. After that well make a determination on what to do further.(Autoweek)(4-24-2003)

  • Fuller to test for Gibbs: Busch Series veteran driver, Jeff Fuller, is scheduled to test the Winston Cup Chevrolets of Joe Gibbs Racing {#18 and #20] at the General Motors proving grounds April 25-27.(Jeff Fuller site)(4-23-2003)

  • Indy 500 rumors UPDATE 3 Stewart to do the Double? - Denied: Dario Franchitti will miss the Indianapolis 500 and perhaps all three of the Indy Racing League's races in June, his team confirmed Friday. Franchitti suffered a lumbar fracture of his back when he crashed on his motorcycle April 4. Dr. Terry Trammell said the fracture does not require surgery but does require bracing for approximately three months. AGR officials do not expect to name a replacement until next week, but team co-owner Kim Green admitted Friday he wants to know the availability of Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon. Stewart, the Winston Cup champion, previously said he was not interested in competing in the 500 this year.(Indianapolis Star), since this is Michael Andretti's team and his cousin John is looking for an Indy 500 ride........(4-19-2003)
    UPDATE - Stewart to replace Franchitti: ESPN.com has learned that defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart will replace Dario Franchitti on Andretti's team for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500. Stewart, who will run alongside rookie Dan Wheldon, Andretti and Tony Kanaan (if he's healthy enough), will start testing one of the Andretti-Green Dallara/Hondas this Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The versatile 32-year-old native of Columbus, Ind., had previously said despite his passion for Indy, he wouldn't jeopardize his Winston Cup effort by running Indy and Charlotte on the same day -- like he did in 1999 and 2001. Racing USAC midgets in Modesto, Calif. on Saturday night, he could not be reached for comment. But, evidently, the opportunity to drive one of the factory Hondas for one of the best teams was too good to pass up. The NASCAR schedule is very accomodating to Stewart. There is no Cup race the first weekend of qualifying at Indy (May 10-11) so he'll be able to come right from his stock car show at Richmond, Va., on May 4 and practice that entire first week leading up to time trials. NASCAR runs The Winston on May 17 at Charlotte, N.C., as a prelude to the annual Coca Cola 600 on the evening of May 25.(EPSN)(4-20-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart might change his mind and participate in next month's Indianapolis 500. But he has not decided yet, he told The Star on Sunday. "When I'm ready to say something, we'll send out a press release," he said. However, Stewart denied weekend reports that he will join Andretti Green Racing for this week's test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the upcoming race. He said he has not spoken with anyone from Michael Andretti's team, which needs a replacement for injured Dario Franchitti (fractured back). "(The Internet) was the first I'd heard about (the possibility)," Stewart said. A team source said late Sunday that no driver decision has been made and won't be before Tuesday.(Indianapolis Star)
    AND Mentioned as possible replacements for Franchitti are Winston Cup drivers Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon, both of whom have experience doing double duty  racing in the Indy 500 on the Sunday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, then flying to suburban Charlotte to drive in the Cup race that night. A report on espn.com said that Stewart has agreed to fill in for Franchitti, but a spokesman for Stewart dismissed the report as a rumor and said that Stewart is expected to honor a preseason pledge not to race at Indianapolis this year. Stewart grew up in Indiana dreaming about winning the Indy 500, but he said in January that he wouldn't try it this year because it might distract him from defending his 2002 Winston Cup championship. Stewart already has scheduled personal appearances during times he would have had to be in Indianapolis if he were to race in the Indy 500. Gordon wants to do both races but hasn't been able to secure sponsorship money. Andretti's cousin John, another Cup driver who has done double duty, also has expressed interest in doing both races.(USA Today)(4-21-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Reigning Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart said Monday he will not enter the 2003 Indianapolis 500, disputing a report on ESPN.com claiming he would take the place of injured driver Dario Franchitti. "It's flattering to know that my name still comes up this time of year as someone teams want to have in their car at Indy," Stewart said in a statement. "But as I've said from the beginning of the season, I am not going to compete in the Indianapolis 500, and my reasons are still the same." At preseason Winston Cup testing in Daytona Beach, Fla., Stewart said he was going to focus on his Joe Gibbs Racing team this season. He reiterated that stance Monday. "There are 200 employees at Joe Gibbs Racing, making all sorts of sacrifices to provide me with everything I need to go out and win races. And when you go back and forth between Indy and Charlotte, it puts a strain on the entire team," he said. "As much as my heart wants to do it, I can't justify putting my personal ambitions ahead of the sacrifices made by my race team."(ThatsRacin.com)(4-21-2003)

  • Stewart 13th Friday UPDATE Wins on Saturday: Tony Stewart finished 13th in the 100-lap USAC National/Western CRA Midget main event that was slowed by 14 caution flags and won by J.J. Yeley of Phoenix. The race, which featured 36 drivers, was the opening event of the Fred Gerhardt Open-Wheel Classic at Madera Speedway on Friday night, which drew a crowd of about 3,500. Stewart was in no mood to talk about his less-than-stellar finish after the race, but prior to the event spoke about why he came to Madera.(Modesto Bee)(4-19-2003)
    UPDATE: Despite being unfamiliar with the one-third mile asphalt Madera Speedway track, Tony Stewart won both the 50-lap United States Auto Club Sprints and the 50-lap SRL Supermodified. "I'm one of the last true racers," Stewart said while addressing the near-capacity Madera Speedway crowd that came to watch him race in both events. In a thrilling Supermodified outcome, Stewart survived an early wreck -- 17 cars started the race, and only six finished -- and passed teammate Lonnie Adamson on the final lap out of turn 4 for the victory. Stewart's victory in the USAC wasn't as dramatic, but it showed his dominance. He controlled the lead for the final 30 laps. But what many fans came for -- Stewart's colorful personality -- he didn't show. Instead, he limited interaction with all fans and media as two burly bodyguards protected his pit area so he could concentrate solely on driving. As with many of Stewart's races, hundreds of fans came to support the Winston Cup champ, while others attended to boo him.(Fresno Bee(4-20-2003)

  • Stewart wins....a winged sprint car race: Reigning Cup champ #20-Tony Stewart realized a personal accomplishment Friday night. Stewart passed Jake Peters of Sioux Falls, S.D., on a 14th-lap re-start and won his first winged sprint-car feature in the Winged Outlaw Warrior-sanctioned event at Sedalia's State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, MO. The race in front of an estimated crowd of 7,500 served as a support-class event as a part of a World of Outlaws sprint-car program. Outlaw driver Danny Lasoski of Higginsville, Mo., supplied a car for Stewart to drive. "This is great, and it was a lot of fun," Stewart said. "We decided to take part in the race at the last minute, and everything worked out well for us." Stewart began his night by running second to Larry Ball Jr. of Knoxville, Iowa, in the last of four heat races. In the feature, Peters led by as much as a straightaway by lap eight, but Stewart closed within three car lengths when Eric Jobe of Kansas City flipped in the fourth turn on lap 13, causing a caution period that set the stage for Stewart's pass on the restart.(Kansas City Star)(4-14-2003)

  • #20 Impounded Car Chopped? and returned? UPDATE, nope and nope: An unconfirmed rumor has it that the 20 car was, indeed, returned though in a slightly modified form: Sliced in half at the B-pillar, the front section delivered to the Gibbs team garage. How would that be for a message sent and delivered? (in part from Autoweek)(4-8-2003)

    UPDATE: Crew chief Greg Zipadelli is still waiting to see if or when NASCAR will return the Home Depot Chevrolet NASCAR confiscated prior to practice two weeks ago at Texas. Zipadelli told PRN's "Garagepass" car owner Joe Gibbs visited NASCAR's Research and Development center in Mooresville on Wednesday and that car is still in the condition as when they took it. Zipadelli says the team has already built a new car replacing the one taken at Texas and that they're "over it" and are moving on.(PRN's Garage Pass)(4-11-2003)

  • Stewart to run Busch race at Michigan with special scheme - UPDATE 5: the Tony Stewart #8 Busch Series program has been changed from Kid Rock to 3 Doors Down. This special program will be racing in Michigan on August 16th. Dale Earnhardt Jr.(car owner) and Stewart both filmed footage to appear in a new rock music video with 3 Doors Down which is due out this summer.(3-27-2003)
    IMAGE see an image of the scheme on my Paint Scheme Gallery, the Busch page.(4-11-2003)

  • Busch vs Stewart: Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart met after the race to discuss their incident. Busch and Greg Biffle got together and sent Busch into Stewart's car on lap 90. Stewart banged the wall and had to go to the garage for repairs. He returned to finish 25th. Busch placed 19th. "He ended up on my outside when Biffle pinched me up against him," Busch said of Stewart. "It was like I ended up running into him purposely; it was just an accident." Stewart was unavailable for comment after the race.(Roanoke Times) AND as seen on Speed Channel's NASCAR Victory Lane, Busch squirted Stewart as the two walked away from each other after Stewart confronted Busch about the incident that put Tony in the wall. Stewart basically did not react or notice.
    AND Busch's comments on the accident: Teammates Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch banged Fords late in the race and each fell out of contention after running with the leaders. Biffle, who finished 22nd, seemed to race up the track in front of Busch. That caused Busch, who finished 19th, to plow into defending Cup champ Tony Stewart. Stewart, who was already struggling, finished 25th. And though Stewart had words with Busch after the race, Busch said it wasn't his fault. "We were on the lead lap and my deal was I had a 10-mph run on my teammate, and he pulled out in front of me," Busch said. "That's fine. But we ended up running out of racetrack and we wrecked. I had a pretty good run and didn't expect him to come up like that." Biffle said he thought Busch would take another line, one higher up than the one Biffle steered into. "Anybody can get a run on somebody and pass them on a restart, but I thought we had established the inside lane," he said. "I wished he would have gotten on the brakes a little and not had that happen."(News and Observer)(4-7-2003)

  • No Penalty on the #20 team UPDATE: In a surprise announcement, John Darby, NASCAR Competition Director, said on Saturday morning that no penalties will be assessed to Joe Gibb's Racing or crew chief Greg Zipadelli for infractions on the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, confiscated at Texas last weekend. Also, no penalties will be given on the two cars of David Green and Larry Foyt, disqualified after Winston Cup qualifying on Friday. Darby said missing the race was penalty enough.(Insider Racing News)
    AND NASCAR will issue no points penalties or suspensions to defending Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart's team after impounding the team's primary car before qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway a week ago. "Our conclusion is that any further penalty to (crew chief) Greg Zipadelli or the team itself will not happen," Winston Cup series director John Darby said Saturday morning. Darby said that while the violation on Stewart's car was severe, the violation was with the car's body and that, in most cases, NASCAR allows teams to fix problems with cars' bodies. The difference in this case, Darby said, was that the violation was such that it could not be fixed at the track by adding or sanding away body material to conform. He said NASCAR elected to impound the car to take it out of competition for the weekend at Texas, then took it back to its research and development center in Concord, NC, to inspect the car further and learn more about what caused the violation. Darby said the impounded #20 Chevrolet never made it onto the track for competition. While points have been deducted from at least two teams for infractions that never made it on the track, Darby said those penalties were assessed for equipment designed to thwart measuring devices used to enforce special rules for restrictor-plate races or to circumvent rules in place at those tracks to even competition. When asked if he thought the violation on the #20 Chevrolet at Texas was motivated by a desire to confound the rules, Darby said his opinion on the matter would be subjective. "Is it a rock solid, black and white, infraction that was done for purely a competitive gain?" Darby said. "I can't say that. I also can't say it was an accident. So we step aside from that and just say that it is what it is."(ThatsRacin.com). NO mention if the team will get the car back.(4-5-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR's Jim Hunter was interviewed by FSN's NASCAR This Morning's Winston Kelley and said that NASCAR still reserves the right to penalize Joe Gibbs Racing, but it is unlikely they will be. NASCAR still has not decided if the team will get the car back and that would be quite a large penalty if they do not get it back.(Fox Sports Net NASCAR This Morning)
    BUT NASCAR yesterday announced that it will not return the #20 Chevrolet of Tony Stewart, impounded before last week's race at Texas. A NASCAR spokesman said further tests will be conducted on the car, but no ''additional'' penalty will be assessed for Joe Gibbs Racing. The penalty, the spokesman said, will be the loss of the entire race car, valued in excess of $100,000.(Tennessean)(4-6-2003)

  • NASCAR examining Tony Stewart's car UPDATE Gibbs not getting the car back?: Impounding the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet of Tony Stewart last weekend at TMS was a first for NASCAR, but officials have good reasons for wanting to take a closer look at the car. The slant of the rear window was three-quarters of an inch off allowable measurements, but the car fit all the templates. That put quite a scare into NASCAR inspectors, who couldn't believe the window could be that far out of line and still fit the new templates. It took an X-measurement with a tape measure across the window (a new measurement this season) to prove the violation. NASCAR officials want to determine if another template is needed. They also want to make sure teams haven't found other ways to get around the 32 template measurements. Raymond Fox, crew chief for the No. 38 M&Ms Ford of Elliott Sadler, said NASCAR's action got everyone's attention. "It opens up your eyes," Fox said. "You go back to the shop and say, 'OK, this is what happened last week. Let's not let it happen to us.' "(Dallas Morning News - may need to register to view)(4-3-2003)
    UPDATE: Jim Hunter, NASCAR's Vice President of Corporate Communications, said on Friday that the Joe Gibb's #20 car, confiscated at Texas last week, is being measured at the R&D shop by lasers and no determination has been made what will be done with the car or what penalties might be imposed. "I can say that the car probably won't be returned to the team, at least not in it's current configuration," said Hunter, "We'll more than likely take it to the wind tunnel to see if it has an aerodynamic advantage."(Insider Racing News) and on an interview with Claire B. Lang of (XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required), Hunter said not to expect any penalties/decisions to be handed down before the race at Talladega, especially if it goes to the wind tunnel. It could be weeks before anything is announced.
    AND "There really is no timeline on the process on the 20 car." That from NASCAR's Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter who said here at Talladega Tony Stewart's Home Depot Chevrolet which was confiscated at Texas is undergoing computer testing to simulate the exact measurements of the car at NASCAR's Research and Developement Center in Mooresville, North Carolina...and it may be taken to a wind tunnel for further scrutiny. As for any penalties against the team Hunter says "there are all sorts of options", however he doesn't know if a decision will be made within several weeks or a month. NASCAR also must determine when and if the car will be returned to the team. Hunter said one possiblity is that it could be "sectioned" and the legal pieces given back to Joe Gibbs Racing. However, he says there is no rush because the car doesn't have to be anywhere.(PRN's Garage Pass - will be aired later today)(4-4-2003)

  • News on the #20 Impounding = NOTHING - NOTE: nothing new on the #20 Home Depot Chevy impounding [see new below], when I hear anything it'll be posted, NASCAR usually announces Cup penalties on Tues/Wed following the race.(3-31-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR still has not announced any further penalties against Tony Stewart's team at Joe Gibbs Racing after its primary #20 Chevrolet was impounded at Texas for failing its initial inspection because it did not fit the templates. The apparently unprecedented move to seize the car did get the attention of other crew chiefs in the garage. "As soon as I heard what happened to them I called back to the shop and told them that was a prime example of what can happen if you're not right," said Raymond Fox III, crew chief for Elliott Sadler's Ford. "The 20 car is a good team. It opens up your eyes to make you go back to the shop and say, 'OK, this is what happened last week. Let's try not to let it happen to us.'"(ThatsRacin.com)(4-1-2003)

  • Stewart's Primary Car Disallowed and Impounded, has to go to a backup: NASCAR impounded the primary #20 [Home Depot] Chevy presented for inspection by Tony Stewart's team Friday morning at Texas Motor Speedway, forcing the team to switch to a backup before it started practice. The confiscated car was rolled to a prominent position beside the NASCAR transporter and roped off. NASCAR officials did not allow the team to put a cover over the car, and the orange race car was drawing a lot of attention. "When the 20 came through inspection, it was not in a condition where it would pass," NASCAR president Mike Helton. "It was enough out of that condition that we felt like what we wanted to do was impound the car instead of letting them cut it up and try to fix it, even if they could." Helton would not specifically say what it was about the car that was out of whack, but did say the problem was in the area from the rear window to the rear deck lid. "What I will say is that it did not fit the templates, and did not fit them very well at all," he said. Officials from Joe Gibbs Racing said Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief, would comment on the situation following Winston Cup qualifying scheduled for Friday afternoon. Helton said NASCAR impounded the car because it was the first to be presented for inspection this year that fell "outside of the box" of a new set of rules regarding body shape and location that is more common among all makes in 2003. "This is the first we've seen this year of anything being this exotic," Helton said. "There was a great deal of effort put in over the winter by NASCAR and the teams to adapt to the common body templates. ...We feel that has been a success on the track and in the garage area and there is a high level of interest in trying to keep things going in that direction." Helton said he did not recall NASCAR ever confiscating an entire car from a team before. Officials frequently confiscate unapproved parts from cars, tag them and leave them on display on a counter in its hauler. "This fits in that scenario," Helton said. "It's just too big to put on the counter." Helton said the car would be taken back to NASCAR's new research and development center in Concord where it will be examined further. He would not rule out further fines or penalties against the team pending the outcome of that investigation. "We want to understand it more," Helton said. "We feel that taking this car out of their system is quite a reaction. The car they presented to race here is now not an option to them to use. ...That car is ours for right now."(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND #20-Tony Stewart was forced to pull his backup car from the hauler before Friday's Winston Cup practice after NASCAR disallowed his primary, claiming it failed the common body template inspection. The car, which had not yet been used by the team, was confiscated by NASCAR and its backup, another unused chassis according to Joe Gibbs Racing team manager Jimmy Makar, was pulled out of the transporter in its place. "I'm not sure we ever have done this," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. NASCAR impounded the car and planned to return it to its technical and research and development facility in Concord, N.C., to investigate it further.(NASCAR.com), no problems reported on the backup car.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(3-28-2003)

  • AND - Statements from Stewart and Zipadelli: While presented for inspection prior to the first practice for Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials found that the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet did not conform to the specified templates mandated by NASCAR.. The issue arose at the rear of the car, specifically the area encompassing the greenhouse and decklid. As a result, NASCAR impounded the car, forcing the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Team to pull the backup car from the transporter and use it for the rest of the race weekend.. The car now being used by the #20 team for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 is Chassis No. 75.. It is a brand new chassis.. A car from the Joe Gibbs Racing facility in Huntersville, N.C., is currently en route to Texas Motor Speedway to be used in the event another backup is needed.

    The following are quotes from crew chief Greg Zipadelli and driver Tony Stewart regarding the day's events:

    GREG ZIPADELLI, crew chief on the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet: "There's a measurement between the offset of the decklid and the roof, and it wasn't exactly where it needed to be.. It's something that they check back on the plates (at the race shop) as we're building the car.. Obviously, they didn't check it close enough.. When they put the back window in, it seemed to change the measurement an awful lot.. It's something (NASCAR) didn't like.. There's a rule on it, so I don't have much to stand on.. I'm disappointed with the people at the shop, because it's a measurement that's pretty cut and dry.. We've done well with it this year.. We haven't had any issues or anything like that.. We've just got to deal with it and move on.. We unloaded the backup car and we're just trying to play catch-up right now.. It's nobody's fault but our own.. We're working hard on some procedures in going through some templates and things like that before (the car) comes to the track to make sure we're where we need to be so that we don't have to go through the inspection room more than once.. Things have been going fairly well.. This was just as big a shock to me as it was to the people at NASCAR.
    "The car we have now is set up really similar to the car we had.. We put our backup motor in, which is only a couple horsepower off of what we had in the primary.. We just changed a lot of things.. There were a few little things that we weren't able to change.. Are they worth anything?. I don't know.. They were nothing huge, just little things.. We'll try to change the rest of the car over after qualifying.. We needed to get a couple of laps on the race track during practice before qualifying.. It's just disappointing.. We had a rough week last week (at Bristol, Tenn.), but everyone was still pretty pumped up because we ran well here last year.. But we've got to work a little harder now to overcome this deal this weekend.. We'll race well, but this has got everyone kind of down.. It's a distraction is the biggest thing.. But it's self-inflicted, so we've got no one to blame but ourselves.
    "We called the shop and had a motor put in the car that we ran Atlanta with, set it up and scaled it with what we're going to start the race with, and it's on its way out here right now.. They just left at 3 o'clock (EST).. It'll be here tomorrow morning at 7 o'clock or something.. So we'll have a backup that's prepped and ready to go if, unfortunately, we have a problem in race practice.. We're just doing everything we can to try and carry on.. It's just a bunch of extra work for the guys here.. I appreciate it because it certainly wasn't their fault, by any means."

    TONY STEWART, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet: "The cars all look the same from where I'm sitting.. I've got three things that I'm in control of - a steering wheel, the shifter and the pedals.. I've got everything I need to do the job I need to do with the car we've got now.. All of our cars are good, whether they're a primary or a backup."(Edelman/Home Depot Racing PR)(3-28-2003)

  • NASCAR President Mike Helton - Statement/Q & A, regarding impounding of No. 20 Chevrolet - March 28, 2003
    Mike Helton opening statement:
    "When the 20 car came through inspection it was not in a condition to pass inspection. We felt like what we wanted to do was impound the car instead of let [the team] cut it up and try to fix it, even if they might have been able to. The reason behind it, the uniqueness behind our action is that there's been a great deal of time spent by NASCAR and the race teams to adapt to the common body location and the new templates. All of that effort by [NASCAR Winston Cup Director] John Darby and his folks have been  along with the cooperation of the teams  has been [designed] to eliminate the exoticness of the cars that they were traveling toward. This is the first occasion we've had when a car presented for inspection was pretty much out of that box that has been built for the current cars."
    "The effort by John Darby and his guys, by the body shops, by the race teams and by the car owners, we feel like has been a success. We feel like it's a success on the race track, certainly inside the garage area [judging from] the input we're getting from the car owners, back at the shop as well as [looking at] the economics of the sport. We have a high level of interest to keep it in that direction. Today we ran into a situation where we were presented a car that did not fit. We have taken it, in order to secure it, and to protect it in its current condition to further investigate it and primarily because we now have an ÜR&D' (Research and Development) Center that we've invested in. The resources at that center give us a greater opportunity to understand things [like this].
    We have the 20 car sitting next to our [NASCAR] hauler. We'll take it back to our R&D Center and as the process unfolds we'll certainly be able to use the information, [utilizing] the talent we have back at the center, to find out more about this particular situation."

    Q: Where is the car's problem area?
    HELTON: "It's the area around the back of the car from the rear window to the rear deck. All I can really say is didn't fit the templates ¦ and it didn't fit very well at all."

    Q: Could the team have fixed it?
    HELTON: "There's debate about whether or not that was possible. We chose not to give them the option because we want to understand it more. Again, the effort has been to not have this kind of situation show up. But I'll tell you up front that Joe Gibbs Racing has been a great proponent of everything we've done in this area and why this car is here I don't know right now. We simply took that option [of fixing it] away from them. But there's been a great debate about whether it could've been fixed or not."

    Q: Will there be further repercussions on the No. 20 team?
    HELTON: "Taking this car out of the system is quite a reaction, I think. But we feel that the car they presented to race here, now not being an option to them, is significant."

    Q: Is there any indication that their back-up car might have issues?
    HELTON: "I haven't heard of any.'

    Q: Are there any issues with the 18 car?
    HELTON: "I haven't heard of any."

    Q: What type of advantage was this car going to have?
    HELTON: "We don't know but that's one of the things we want to find out back at the R&D Center ¦ if that was the motive, how does it stack up to cars we're racing today? Because now we have those [technical] resources at our fingertips [to help us]."

    Q: Could this have happened by accident?
    HELTON: "I don't know. I'm not going to speculate on how the car ended up here. I just know it was here when we opened up the inspection doors."

    Q: Is this the end of the issue for now?
    HELTON: "We've got the car in our possession. They've gone into the qualifying process with their back-up car. As the situation unfolds we may or may not react [further]."

    Q: Will the car be NASCAR's forever?
    HELTON: "We have not made that decision yet so I don't know. Right now the decision is just to take it out of the system. That's where we are right now."

    Q: Is this a signal to the garage about how seriously NASCAR views this violation?
    HELTON: "I would like to think it is. The parts and pieces that we confiscate and get tagged and are left out on the back of our truck for people to look at; I'd say this fits that scenario. [The car] was just too big to put on our counter."

    Q: Is the body on the impounded car more in line with the 2002 body; is that the problem?
    HELTON: "I don't know, I'm not going to speculate. I'll say this: Joe Gibbs Racing changed from Pontiacs to Monte Carlos in the off-season and this is not a Pontiac."

    Q: Is there anyway the No. 20 team can get this impounded car back to race this week?
    HELTON: "Not this car. Not the one we've impounded. This one's ours right now."(NASCAR PR)(3-28-2003)

    from NASCAR.com: #20 [and #18] team owner Joe Gibbs said on Saturday that his team was embarrassed after NASCAR impounded Tony Stewart's #20 Chevrolet, and vowed to find out what went wrong. See full story at NASCAR.com - Gibbs apologizes, seeks answers in impropriety(3-29-2003)
    Car gone the impounded #20 Home Depot Chevy has been loaded up on a NASCAR hauler and is on the way to NASCAR's R&D facitily near Charlotte. NC.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(3-29-2003)
    Gibbs Comments: "The first thing I want to say is that we believe in equal cars for the teams and let the teams make the difference. That's what NASCAR is trying to do and we support that. We want that. So, for us to be in this situation is something that we don't. First of all, I want to apologize to NASCAR. I want to apologize to Home Depot. This is our fault. We're trying to go back through a process of figuring out how it happened. Obviously, we've got fast race cars. All our other cars fit the templates. This one - there is kind of an unusual set of circumstances in our construction process here and we're trying go back and figure out exactly what happened. This thing is our fault. There is no excuse, so we apologize to everybody and we're going try to figure out a way now to add a process and make sure that it never happens again. That's generally our feeling."
    see full story at the Joe Gibbs Racing site.(3-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Garage sources overheard a heated discussion early Sunday between NASCAR president Mike Helton and team owner Joe Gibbs, who lost Tony Stewart's primary car during Friday inspection at Texas because it did not fit the "X" measurement from the corners of the rear deck up to the corners of the roof. Maybe Gibbs discovered a NASCAR official's list of options for the impounded car: giving part of it back, giving none of it back or using it as a test car on the SAFER wall barrier in Nebraska. Fellow Chevrolet teams insist the "X" measurement, which was implemented just before the start of the season, was NASCAR's way of minimizing an advantage the No. 20 car apparently gained over others in the offseason through creative body work.(Sporting News)(3-31-2003)

  • Earnhardt Jr and Stewart film a music video: on Monday night in Concord, NC, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart filmed a music video for the band 3 Doors Down. Fans gathered early to catch a glimpse of their music and racing heroes Monday night. The filming was set to continue Tuesday night. The production crew set up recreational vehicles, equipment trucks and a food tent in the city's Bicentennial Plaza parking lot and fans wandered around freely trying to spy their favorite star. It's due to be aired on music video channels by April or May, according to the band's publicist. The group chose Concord for its video locale because of the racing theme behind it. The plot line, loosely, is that a woman is stopped at a red light (at the square in downtown Concord) in a Jeep Wrangler when Earnhardt pulls up beside her and begins flirting. Soon after, Stewart pulls up on the other side and begins to compete for her attention. The two rival drivers appear to quickly forget the girl and set off drag racing, leaving her behind. The racers in the video will tear through the streets and barrel through the woods only to emerge at a race track (Concord Motorsports Park) where a 3 Doors Down concert is in progress. They'll circle the track a few times and tear off into the woods again.(Independent Tribune)(3-12-2003)

  • Stewart and Home Depot Unveils Declaration of Independence-Themes Scheme: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy, proudly unveiled the new Declaration of Independence-themed car today prior to qualifying for the Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stewart will race this car at the July 5 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway to celebrate The Home Depot's sponsorship of the Declaration of Independence (DOI) Road Trip. Founded by producer Norman Lear, the DOI Road Trip is touring an original copy of the Declaration to inspire Americans to participate in civic activism, to exercise their rights, and above all, to vote. The Declaration of Independence Road Trip will travel to cities and towns across the United States, creatively combining elements of education, entertainment, and community outreach. The project is led by Honorary Co-Chairs and former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. The Home Depot is the Presenting Sponsor of the Road Trip. The United States Postal Service is the Official Carrier of the DOI Road Trip and AXA Financial, Inc. is also a Sponsor of The Declaration of Independence Road Trip. For additional information on the Declaration of Independence Road Trip, please visit www.IndependenceRoadTrip.org.(Home Depot PR), see my Paint Scheme Gallery for an image of the car.(3-7/8-2003)

  • Police Officers cleared in Stewart stop: Two Ormond Beach, FL police officers were cleared Friday of sparing NASCAR driver Tony Stewart a speeding ticket in exchange for a picture with him, even though Stewart bragged on a radio show about avoiding a citation. A police car videotape shows one officer taking a picture of the other officer with Stewart after the race car driver was pulled over in a yellow Ferrari, but Chief Larry Mathieson said the officers didn't break any rules and didn't have enough hard evidence to give Stewart a ticket anyway. "We think they got caught up in the moment," Mathieson said. "They're good cops and they're honest guys. I don't think we need to overreact to something that was a momentary lapse in judgment." The allegations of special treatment for the NASCAR bad boy started flying after patrol officers Anthony Zimmerer, 26, and Michael Bakaysa, 33, pulled Stewart over just before 1 a.m. on Feb. 9. Zimmerer, who has been with the department less than three years, was at the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and Granada Boulevard when he saw the yellow car zip eastward toward the Granada Bridge. Zimmerer radioed in that he thought the vehicle was going about 72 mph in the 35 mph zone. But Zimmerer never got a digital reading that decisively showed Stewart's speed. The police car videotape showed Bakaysa taking a picture of a grinning Zimmerer with Stewart after Zimmerer ran Stewart's license. Zimmerer still has the autographed Polaroid photograph, which will be donated for an upcoming fund-raiser, Mathieson said. A few days after the stop, Stewart was former NASCAR racer Benny Parson's guest on a live WNDB-AM radio show broadcast from Volusia Square Mall. During that show, Stewart told Parsons he was driving 72 mph in a 35 mph zone and claimed the officer said: "If I let you off, can I take a picture with you?" Stewart claimed he responded, "Shoot yeah! You can burn the whole roll of Polaroids off for all I care. Just let me go home." During an internal investigation, the 31-year-old racing phenom told police supervisors that Zimmerer had already given him a verbal warning and he was free to go when the officers asked about a picture. Investigators said Stewart conceded he "did in fact stretch the truth" during the radio show "because it made for a better story." Zimmerer and Bakaysa were never taken off duty or disciplined. They have, however, been ordered to take part in a four-hour seminar on ethics and professionalism at Daytona Beach Community College in July.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-1-2003)

  • Officers face inquiry in stop of Tony Stewart: Ormond Beach police have started an internal investigation into the Feb. 9 traffic stop of NASCAR bad boy Tony Stewart. Police are investigating whether two officers involved in Stewart's early morning traffic stop let him off too easily because of his superstar status, Ormond Beach police spokesman Sgt. Mark Walker said. Stewart, the defending Winston Cup champion, was pulled over in a yellow Ferrari just before 1 a.m. Feb. 9 after Patrol Officer Anthony Zimmerer saw the car fly past him on the Granada Bridge, Walker said. Zimmerer said another passing vehicle prevented his radar from accurately clocking Stewart's speed, Walker said. Stewart was stopped by patrol officer Michael Bakaysa. Then he got a warning, rather than a ticket, from Zimmerer. Stewart's spokesman, Mike Arning, said Monday he could not confirm or deny reports that Stewart discussed the traffic stop on a local radio show Feb. 12.(Daytona Beach News Journal), NOTE: yes it was discussed on a radio show.(2-25-2003)

  • Home Depot named title sponsor of All-American Soap Box Derby: The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today announced that it signed a multi-year agreement to become the title sponsor of the All-American Soap Box Derby (AASBD), a youth racing program for youngsters competing in gravity-powered race cars. In addition, the Company will donate 200 sanctioned race car kits to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA), allowing more children an opportunity to compete in this year's All-American Soapbox Derby races. As part of the newly created alliance, Home Depot will supply 20 race car kits to local Clubs in ten select cities throughout the United States including New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Washington D.C.; Atlanta; Detroit; Houston; Seattle; Orlando; and Charlotte. TEAM Depot associates in those markets will devote several hours to the respective regional races to guide participating children through the race car building process. TEAM Depot, an organized volunteer force, was developed in 1992 to encourage volunteer activities within the stores' local communities. Home Depot assumes sponsorship duties from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the title sponsor since 1999. Goodyear will continue as a Derby sponsor in another role. Additionally, earlier this year, AASBD entered into a partnership with NASCAR to promote one another's respective racing programs. Last July, more than 400 boys and girls between the ages of nine and 16 from 43 states, Washington, D.C., Germany, the Philippines and Japan, earned the right to compete in the 65th All-American Soap Box Derby championships at the Derby Downs racing facility in Akron. As part of the comprehensive sponsorship, Home Depot will grant $15,000 each year to an annual scholarship fund managed by the AASBD and receive national media exposure and logo space on all helmets and signage at every sanctioned event.(PR)(2-24-2003)

  • Home Depot not interested in stepping up to replace RJR: Home Depot doesn't plan to increase its commitment to NASCAR, even though the organization is seeking a new title sponsor for the Winston Cup Series. "We enjoy the relationship we have with NASCAR today," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, chief executive and president of Home Depot. "It's at the appropriate level." The Atlanta-based retailer sponsors driver Tony Stewart, the 2002 Winston Cup champion. Former Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs is Stewart's team owner. Last week, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which makes Winston cigarettes, and NASCAR confirmed that talks have taken place about a change in the title sponsorship. Limits on advertising by cigarette makers and the weak economy have R.J. Reynolds thinking about ending the partnership that started in 1971.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-12-2003)

  • New Assoc for Gibbs: Joe Gibbs Racing has signed a deal with GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Advair, an asthma maintenance treatment, an associate sponsor on the team's #18 and #20 cars. Driver Bobby Labonte, who has asthma, will be a spokesman for the program and will encourage fans to visit an educational trailer to be located trackside at NASCAR events.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-24-2003)

  • Stewart, Donlavey and Gant among those honored: Tony Stewart and Brett Hearn earned Driver of the Year honors at the 33rd annual Eastern Motorsport Press Association Convention but it was Junie Donlavey, the veteran Winston Cup car owner, who got the standing ovation. Stewart earned the Al Holbert Memorial EMPA Driver of the Year award while Brett Hearn took the Richie Evans Northeast Driver of the Year award. Both drivers won their awards for the second time. Stewart earned his award for his 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup title. Hearn was voted his award based on his stellar efforts in DIRT modified stock car racing throughout the season. However Junie Donlavey, involved in the sport for more than 50 years, had an award named after him and was presented the very first Junie Donlavey Spirit of the Sport Award. The award, in the future, will go to individuals who best represent the independent spirit of the sport and do so much behind the scenes to make the sport better.The presentation was made by Dr. Joe Mattioli, Pocono Raceway. Close to 150 media, sponsors, personalities, racers and other industry figures were in the audience for the annual R.J.Reynolds Hall of Fame Dinner held at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Trevose, PA (just north of Philadelphia). During the evening, kicked off with the SpeedChannel cocktail reception, the late Kenny Weld, an outstanding modified and sprint racer, was inducted into the EMPA Hall of Fame along with former NASCAR Winston Cup racer Harry Gant, five time United Racing Club sprint car champion Dave Kelly and "the dean of motorsports journalism" Chris Economaki.(Open Wheel Racing)(1-20-2003)

  • Stewart to run in the Chili Bowl UPDATE 2: 2002 Winston Cup champ will run the 2003 Chili Bowl in Tulsa, OK. Two weeks after Christmas, the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals arrive. Emmett Hahn and Lanny Edwards are organizers of the four-night race meet since its 1987 inception. Stewart is scheduled to run on Friday night. Keep track of all the info for the race at www.chilibowl.com.(1-7-2003)
    or www.ilikeracing.com or listen via www.rsbn.net.(1-10-2003)
    UPDATE Stewart 2nd on Friday: Cory Kruseman [who ran some CTS races in 2002] was the third past Chili Bowl champion to visit victory lane in as many nights, as he led Tony Stewart to the checkered flag in Friday night's 25-lap Cherokee Casino Qualifying Showdown main event Tulsa, OK.(www.chilibowl.com)(1-11-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Staying in the hunt throughout Saturday nights 50-lap 17th Annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals main event, Wisconsins Dan Boorse took advantage of Cory Krusemans ill fate to move into third on a lap 46 restart, then rode the cushion around Tony Stewart for second and then Jay Drake on the final round to claim his second Chili Bowl Nationals championship before a record crowd of 14,630. Stewart ended up 3rd. Stewart also ran the Ford Focus Race of Champions, won by Tim Crawley of Mabelvale, AR, Stewart ended up 7th(www.chilibowl.com)(1-12-2003)

  • Stewart Honor: Tony Stewart and former midget car owner Ralph Potter have been elected to the Hoosier Auto Racing Fans' Hall of Fame.(Indy Star)(1-10-2003)

  • Stewart probably skiping the Indy 500: Tony Stewart indicated Wednesday he is likely to put on his hold his dream of winning the Indianapolis 500 so long as he remains in the Winston Cup series. Since joining Cup in 1999, Stewart has twice run the 500, which is held the same day as the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I've thought about it and I decided even before I left Homestead (last season) that I wasn't even going to try it again," said Stewart, who won the Winston Cup championship in 2002. "As much as my heart wants to do it, I need to take care of what I signed up for here." Stewart, the reigning Winston Cup champion, said he had not received any pressure from team owner Joe Gibbs or crew chief Greg Zipadelli to end his INdy 500 quest. "It's a strain on Greg and the guys on the team," Stewart said. "Every day that I'm up there they worry about a tire blowing out or an engine blowing or something that is out of my control ... (and) screw something up to where I can't do my job here. This is what I do. I'm a stock car driver."(ThatsRacin.com)(1-8-2003)

  • Stewart Declines IROC Invite: For the second consecutive season, the reigning Winston Cup champion [Tony Stewart in 2002] has declined an invitation to participate in the International Race of Champions series. Jeff Gordon, who won the 2001 champion, elected not to participate in last season's IROC series, which features 12 drivers from various forms of motorsports competing in four 100-mile races in equally prepared Pontiac Firebirds. Stewart won the season opening IROC race last season and Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick won the series title. "With all that goes on during any given Winston Cup weekend, the time to focus on the main job - driving (for my team) - becomes more and more valuable as our sport continues to grow. I've never been a Winston Cup champion before and I want to do it right - for my team, for my fellow competitors and for my fans. When you win one championship it makes you want to win a second that much more."(ThatsRacin.com), so far only two drivers have been named to run IROC 2003, WoO drivers Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser. Usually it is the top five from Cup, the top drivers from the IRL, CART (is schedules match) and the BGN and sometimes CTS champ.(1-8-2003)

2002 News

  • Stewart to run 4 ISA events: The International Stockcar Alliance (ISA) announced today that 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart will race in four events in the 2003 ISA Exide Racing Series. Stewart will be one of several Winston Cup veterans to take part in four ISA events for 2003. These include two events at the new Kawartha Superspeedway at Frasierville, Ontario, one being the Canada Day Million Dollar Shootout scheduled for June 28-29, 2003. Stewart will also race at Sanair Superspeedway near Montreal on June 3, 2003, and at Calgary's Race City on August 5, 2003. Other Winston Cup drivers scheduled to race at the new Kawartha track include Dave Blaney, Kurt Busch, Jeff Green, Kevin Harvick, and Matt Kenseth. They will compete in the ISA's Canada Day Million Dollar Shootout, as well as the event scheduled for September 9, 2003. These two events are part of the SA's "Super 6" which will showcase top racing personalities at selected venues across Canada. The ISA is presently negotiating with other Winston Cup drivers to compete in selected 2003 ISA Exide Racing Series events. In related news, the ISA announced that tickets for four of its ISA 2003 Exide Racing Series are now on sale, and may be purchased through a user-friendly system on the ISA website, www.isaracing.com, or by calling 1-866-ISA-TICS.(Canada News Wire)(12-21-2002)

  • Stewart special at Daytona: hearing that #20 Tony Stewart will run a Daytona Special in July which supposedly be unveiled in Feb 2003)(12-19-2002)

  • More Surgery: #20 Jackman, Chuck White, recently had surgery on his elbow and #20 front tire changer Mike Lingerfelt had surgery on last week to remove the rod that was put in his leg when he was hit on pit road at Daytona and his leg broke a couple of years ago. Both of us will be ready for the season when it starts in February.(12-18-2002)

  • Cronquist Surgery: Joe Gibbs Racing head engine builder, Mark Cronquist, the 2002 AE Clevite Engine builder of the year, had surgery performed on his ankle, which prevented him from attending the Winston Cup Awards Banquet in NYC.(Speedway Scene Magazine)(12-17-2002)

  • Stewart EMPA Driver of the Year and other honors - Chris Economaki and Brett Hearn: Tony Stewart will receive the Al Holbert Memorial Eastern Motorsport Press Association Driver of the Year honors at the 33rd Annual EMPA Convention taking place at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, Trevose, PA, January 17-19, 2003. Stewart beat out 17-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion Steve Kinser by just a narrow margin to earn the honor for the second time in his career. Brett Hearn, who won dozens of DIRT Big Block Modified and 358 Modified events during the season plus track championships at Lebanon Valley Speedway and Albany-Saratoga Speedway, is the Richie Evans EMPA Northeast Driver of the Year. Both awards, as are all awards, are voted on by the more than 200 professional media members that make up the Eastern Motorsport Press Association. The man that many call the "Dean of Motorsports Journalism" Chris Economaki, well known for his Editor's Notebook column in National Speed Sport News, has been voted into the EMPA Hall of Fame. Economaki earned his honors by what may have been the largest number of votes ever in the history of the EMPA. Former NASCAR Winston Cup star Harry Gant, winner of 18 Winston Cup races and 17 poles, will also be inducted as will the late Kenny Weld, winner of more than 250 sprint and modified features, and five time United Racing Club sprint car champion Dave Kelly. The three day Eastern Motor sport Press Association Convention, the only working convention for motorsports media, will include a series of press conferences, presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions.(12-11-2002)

  • NASCAR Winston Cup Champ Stewart Gets $4.3 Million From Fund: 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart received $4,305,607 in point fund money Friday night at the series' annual awards ceremony, held for the first time at the Hammerstein Ballroom in the Manhattan Center. That amount - which included a $3.75 million contribution from series sponsor R.J. Reynolds - brought Stewart's season winnings total to $9,163,761 and his career total to $20,937,721. This is the second-highest season winnings total for a NASCAR Winston Cup champion. The record belongs to Jeff Gordon, who won $9,306,584 in 1998 (Although the NASCAR Preview and Press Guide has Gordon's total in 2001 as $10.8 million). This season's second-, third- and fourth-place finishers also received point-fund payouts exceeding $1 million. Series runner-up Mark Martin received $1,721,988; third-place finisher Kurt Busch received $1,304,348; fourth-place finisher Gordon received $1,086,707. The point fund totaled $16,373,084 and included all fines collected by NASCAR during the 2002 season.
    For the sake of perspective regarding Stewart's winnings, consider: Only 20 years ago, in the 1983 season, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series' top 50 drivers' combined season winnings didn't match up to Stewart's 2002 total. Only 15 years ago, in the 1988 season, the top 10 drivers' combined winnings were less than Stewart's total. It took a three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion, Darrell Waltrip, 18 years of competition to reach the $10 million mark in career winnings. See my 2002 Points Fund and Awards Winnings page for a detailed breakdown of 2002 winnings.(NASCAR PR)(12-7-2002)

  • Cheap Shot: A [Las Vegas] local television reporter showed up to interview Stewart as he was signing autographs Saturday at the Bullring [at LVMS]. The reporter supposedly never called the speedway's public-relations department to arrange an interview. The talking head apparently just walked up, stuck a microphone in Stewart's face and asked a few superficial questions. Supposedly, Stewart at one point pushed the microphone away from his face. Good for him. This appearance was for Stewart's fans who braved the chilly night. When she "threw it back" to the news desk, as they say in television, that person commented that it was clear why not many people like Stewart. No, it's more likely the reason a lot of people don't like reporters, especially those who wear makeup and smile pretty. Had that reporter asked a speedway representative to set up a brief interview with Stewart, I think Stewart would have cooperated.(as reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal)(12-7-2002)

  • Stewart Buys Zippy a 'Vette: Tony Stewart began today by giving something extremely nice to his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli. When Stewart and Zipadelli first began working together at Joe Gibbs Racing in 1999, Stewart told his crew chief that if they ever won a championship, Stewart would buy Zipadelli a new Chevrolet Corvette. It was a promise that Zipadelli had forgotten about, but Stewart made good on it Friday morning, surprising Zipadelli by having a brand new red 'Vette brought to the Park Avenue entrance of New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the headquarters for NASCAR championship week activities. Just after 10:30 a.m., Stewart walked Zipadelli outside to present him with the keys to the car.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-6-2002)

  • Stewart visits FDNY and NYPD: NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, along with crew chief Greg Zipadelli, paid tribute Tuesday to some of America's real heroes - the firefighters and police officers of New York City. Stewart and Zipadelli spent the majority of the afternoon visiting with some of the heroes who were crucial during the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City. Their first visit was to the Midtown Precinct of the New York Police Department (NYPD), located on 54th Street. They met with a group of police officers, inspectors and detectives and exchanged gifts. Stewart and Zipadelli passed out autographed championship and Home Depot hats while they received NYPD apparel in return.(FoxSports), see images there and another story and more images at NASCAR.com.(12-4-2002)

  • Stewart Sporting News Driver of the Year: The Sporting News announced today that Stewart has been chosen as the NASCAR Driver of the Year, a noteworthy prize since the award is voted on by his fellow drivers. Stewart received 39% of the first-place votes while Jimmie Johnson garnered 22% of the first-place votes. "It's an honor to have my fellow drivers vote me as their Driver of the Year," Stewart said. "Earning the championship was great, but having the respect of the people we race with 38 weekends of the year means everything. I'm truly grateful for this award because there are plenty of other deserving candidates in the NASCAR Winston Cup garage." Other winners announced were Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the recipient of the Dale Earnhardt Toughest Driver of the Year; Ryan Newman as Rookie of the Year; Jack Roush as Owner of the Year; Mark Martin as Comeback Driver; Matt Borland as Crew Chief of the Year; and Matt Kenseth's #17 team as Pit Crew of the Year.(NASCAR PR) See stories at the Sporting News - TSN's Driver of the Year: Tony Stewart and TSN's NASCAR awards.(12-4-2002)

  • Stewart Meets With the President Monday UPDATE: President Bush is honoring NASCAR champion and auto racing's reigning bad boy Tony Stewart, adding a sport with a prized voter profile to the list of winners who get his White House treatment. Last year's NASCAR champ, Jeff Gordon, got no presidential honors. But "NASCAR dads" became the demographic du jour in the last election. They are white, working-class men who admire Bush but who can often be persuaded to vote Democratic if the issues are right. NASCAR is particularly popular in the South and Midwest, two regions that generally favored the president in his 2000 election and that he must protect for his re-election. Stewart secured the title Nov. 17 by crossing the line at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and just two weeks later, Bush was paying him tribute today in the Oval Office. By contrast, the National Hockey League champion Detroit Red Wings had to wait five months for their White House visit. Bush invariably reminds sports champs who are invited to the White House about their responsibilities to the young people who idolize them. He told the Red Wings last month, "It's one thing to be the champion on the ice; it's another thing to be a champion living your lives." With Stewart, Bush was honoring a champion with a history of violent confrontations. Stewart was placed on probation after punching a photographer in August. He was fined $10,000 by NASCAR and $50,000 by his sponsor, Home Depot, and underwent anger-management counseling. He apologized for bumping another photographer on the eve of his championship victory last month. The White House invited photographers, but not reporters, to the get-together. That meant Bush planned no speech honoring Stewart.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(12-2-2002)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart kicked off his Champion's Week in grand fashion Monday as he visited the White House and met President George W. Bush. Stewart, the 31-year-old from Rushville, Ind., met with President Bush for about 15 minutes and signed and presented one of his Home Depot racing helmets. "It was quite humbling," Stewart said following his visit. "It was a very grateful feeling in that short amount of time with the President. He made us feel like one of the guys - except that he has a lot of power. I was a lot more nervous going to the big red (NASCAR) trailer than making the trip to the Oval Office. It was very flattering to have the private time he spent with us." Stewart was joined on the visit by his girlfriend, Jaime Schaffer; team owner Joe Gibbs and his wife, Pat; crew chief Greg Zipadelli and his wife, Nan; and The Home Depot President/CEO Robert L. Nardelli. "It was an awesome experience standing in the Oval Office, and we were very fortunate to be in the same room as the President," Gibbs said. "All of us were very impressed by how approachable he was. We were all excited, especially Tony."(FoxSports and see images there)(12-3-2002)

  • Tony Stewart wins USAC finale at LVMS: Tony Stewart won both the USAC Midget and Sprint car finales at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night. In the 40-lap Midget car race, Stewart started fifth and took command on lap 19 from Dave Darland. Stewart took the checkered flag followed by Darland, J.J. Yeley and Ron Gregory. Darland won the USAC National Midget title, while Robby Flock won the USAC Western States Midget championship after a sixth-place finish. In the 40-lap Sprint car race, Stewart started sixth and took command on lap 20 from Jeff Gardner. Stewart took the checkered flag followed by Gardner, Tracy Hines and Brian McClish. Rick Hendrix won the USAC Western Sprint car championship after a 12th-place finish. "This car was awesome all night," Stewart said. "I was just riding around behind Gardner and I knew that I was faster, but I didnt want to abuse the tires. I saw lap traffic coming and I knew where we were stronger than he was. The timing worked out right and I caught him at the spot where we were strong."(LVMS PR)(12-1-2002)

  • Stewart Wins Sprint race but hurt in Midget race: Tony Stewart won the 40-lap Sprint car Turkey Night Grand Prix race before a sellout crowd of 6,500 at Irwindale Speedway on Thanksgiving, but was involved in a fiery Turn 3 crash in the Midget car race, won by Michael Lewis. Lewis, from Noblesville, Ind., held off a desperate challenge from Kasey Kahne, who finished second in the race for the second time in three years. Kahne tried going outside of Lewis on the last five laps of the 100-lap race, but to no avail. Stewart crashed when the throttle of Aaron Fike's car, running one spot behind Stewart, was stuck and he plowed into the rear of Stewart's car, sending both into the Turn 3 wall. Both were shaken up with Stewart sitting in his car & the one he brought from his museum for the race & for a long time before finally emerging. Both refused transport to an area hospital. Stewart was complaining of a sore ankle. Stewart, who won the Winston Cup title last week in Miami, dominated the Sprint car race. "I came out and won on Turkey Night again," Stewart said of his half-lap victory in the 40-lap main event. "It's great to be back in a real race car and out of those taxi cabs for a little bit," he said. "You guys are the real race fans. It's not about a signature. You want real racing. Everyone tells me to change. I won't change if you won't change. You've come here to see real racing." Stewart, who won in his last appearance at Irwindale, in the 2000 Turkey Night Grand Prix, is the first driver to win in three different cars on Turkey Night. It was only his second time in a Sprint car this year; he won at Tracy. His Sprint car bore the number 20 and was orange, the same as his Cup car.(in part from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune), Stewart did not require hospitalization.
    AND Tony Stewart returned to his midget racing roots for the USAC Turkey Night race at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway and had Craftsman Truck Series regular Terry Cook serving as his crew chief. "Basically they put me in charge of the car to make sure everything's running properly and to make sure Tony has what he needs to race with," said Cook, whose father-in-law, Bob East, is a prominent Indiana-based midget builder. "Crew chief is really an overrated title for me because I'm just there to help out." The two teamed to win the event in 2000.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), see many photoss of the event and accident at www.wideopenphoto.com(11-29-2002)

  • da Matta beats Stewart: CART champion Cristiano da Matta has broken NASCAR's five-year stranglehold on the Driver of the Year award in historic fashion. For the first time in the award's 36-year history, a tiebreaker was used to determine the winner after da Matta and 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart each drew six votes from a nationwide panel of 16 motorsports journalists. Points awarded to each driver during four quarterly ballots were added, and da Matta beat Stewart 246-66 to claim the honor. Da Matta, a 29-year-old Brazilian nicknamed "Shorty," clinched with three races remaining in a 19-event schedule. His 73-point margin over second-place Bruno Junqueira was the widest [actually 2nd widest] in CART history. Stewart, meanwhile, was taken to the season's 36th and final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday before clinching the Cup title over Mark Martin by 38 points. Stewart, a 31-year-old native of Indiana, posted two poles, three victories and 15 top-five finishes in the #20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix owned by Joe Gibbs. Beginning with Jeff Gordon in 1997, the Winston Cup champion also had won Driver of the Year through 2001. Also receiving votes in a secret ballot were Pennzoil World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser and National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon. John Force, the 12-time NHRA Funny Car champion and 1996 Driver of the Year, was the cumulative winner of a fan vote on ESPN.com. Winston Cup driver Kurt Busch won the fourth-quarter vote 117-59 over two-time Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(11-22-2002)

  • Stewart and NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway: Newly-crowned NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart has been named spokesman and technical advisor for NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway Racing Centers Perfect Line, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of IMTS, owns and operates the unique NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway mall-based racing centers. Stewart will be featured in promotions, advertising and point-of-sale material for NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway and will also make appearances at racing center locations throughout the country. In addition, Stewart will offer his technical expertise as a consultant to the management of NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway, providing valuable input from the perspective of the NASCAR Winston Cup champion. Stewart will receive one of the unique NASCAR racing simulators used in the racing centers and will race privately on the simulator to gather technical information for NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway management. Perfect Line's NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway racing centers are the largest chain of officially licensed, NASCAR-branded interactive entertainment stores in the world, and offers its customers the most popular NASCAR merchandise available. For more information on IMTS, please visit their website at www.SMSonline.com.(Perfect Line PR)(11-20-2002)

  • Final Winston Cup Drivers Points Standings:
    #20-Tony Stewart 4800
    #6-Mark Martin 4762 -38
    #97-Kurt Busch 4641 -159
    #24-Jeff Gordon 4607 -193
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 4600 -200
    #12-Ryan Newman 4593 -207
    #2-Rusty Wallace 4574 -226
    #17-Matt Kenseth 4432 -368
    #88-Dale Jarrett 4415 -385
    #28-Ricky Rudd 4323 -477
    See full standings at ThatsRacin.com and see my Drivers and Owners Points page.(11-17-2002)

  • Tony Stewart's Titles:
    2002 - NASCAR Winston Cup
    1999 - Winston Cup Rookie of the Year
    1997 - Indy Racing League
    1996 - IRL Rookie of the Year
    1995 - USAC National Midget
    1995 - USAC Sprint
    1995 - USAC Silver Crown
    1994 - USAC National Midget
    (Joe Gibbs Racing site)(11-18-2002)

  • Busch wins the race, Stewart wins the Winston Cup: #97-Kurt Busch won the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his 4th win of the 2002 season and his career and sewed up 3rd in the Drivers Points. 2nd was #25-Joe Nemechek who also led the most laps. #20-Tony Stewart ended up 18th and won the Winston Cup Championship, his first, Joe Gibbs 2nd and Stewart is the 25th driver to win a Winston Cup. #6-Mark Martin gave it his best and finished 4th. See my Ford 400 Race Info page for my race breakdown, cautions, lap leaders, etc:
    Results: at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com and see past info on the race on my Ford 400 Race Info page.(11-17-2002)

  • Stewart collides with photographer UPDATE: Tony Stewart was again the subject of controversy Saturday as he was accused of shoving a photographer after the final practice session at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Rusty Jarrett, a free-lance photographer from Augusta, Ga., was standing in the garage area of the speedway taking a still photograph of Stewart after the driver got out of his #20 Home Depot Pontiac. Jarrett said Stewart went out of his way to walk in front of him and shove him. A photographer with The Miami Herald took a photo of the incident, which shows Stewart pushed up against Jarrett while Jarrett was holding his camera. Witnesses disagree over whether Stewart's actions were intentional. Saturday afternoon, NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter was investigating the incident. "Several people look at it and have different versions of what happened," Jarrett said. "I just want to know why he did it. He could have walked to the left or right of me. I did not block his way at all." Jarrett said he had spoken to NASCAR officials. Asked the substance of the conversation, Jarrett replied, "What version do you want?"(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND On the brink of winning the Winston Cup championship, Tony Stewart ran into trouble in the garage area again Saturday, bumping a photographer aside with a forearm. The collision occurred minutes after the final practice for Sunday's season-ending Ford 400. Stewart, walking swiftly from the garage toward his Joe Gibbs Racing team's hauler, allegedly bumped photographer Rusty Jarrett, from Getty Images, out of his way. "He came out of the garage, raised his arm and put a body block on me," said Jarrett, who was not injured. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said the dispute was under investigation. Stewart, who goes into Sunday's race leading Mark Martin by 89 points in their duel for the title, is already on probation for punching a photographer following a race in August. Hunter said a photo taken of the collision by an unidentified photographer was "inconclusive." George Tiedemann, a photographer for Sports Illustrated, said he and several other photographers witnessed the contact and called it "an accident." "Tony was coming out of the garage, going straight toward his hauler," Tiedemann said. "He was cutting through the inspection area and moving pretty fast. The photographer was 7-10 feet from the wall of the garage and Tony came around the corner and ran into him. If it had been intentional, (Stewart) certainly would not have looked back at the guy and said, 'What the . . . ?' Tony stumbled a little bit after they collided." Stewart was put on probation after punching a photographer following the Brickyard 400 in August. He was also fined $10,000 by NASCAR and $50,000 by his sponsor, Home Depot.(Sporting News/AP)
    Also a story at NASCAR.com: NASCAR investigating another Stewart incident.
    UPDATE: Despite the conflicting stories, in light an incident involving Stewart following the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis this year Saturday's situation flared into a full-blown media frenzy. Stewart and car owner Joe Gibbs met with Jarrett, NASCAR president Mike Helton, Winston Cup series director John Darby and NASCAR vice president for corporate communications Jim Hunter in the NASCAR trailer late Saturday afternoon to discuss the incident. "The best way to describe it is that it was a very candid meeting," Hunter said afterward. "Rusty expressed his opinion about what happened and Tony Stewart gave Rusty his opinion. By the end of the conversation, which probably lasted 30 minutes, everyone left there happy." Hunter said Jarrett accepted an apology from Stewart. Hunter said Stewart told him he had turned away when he was coming out of the garage at a jog and didn't see Jarrett before running into him. "They shook hands and it's a closed issue as far as we're concerned," Hunter said. "It was just an incident that happened. All of you know that with Tony's history, had that been any other driver it would not have been an issue. ...I think it was an issue because it was Tony Stewart."(ThatsRacin.com) AND a story at NASCAR.com: NASCAR: Latest Stewart allegation closed(11-16-2002)

  • Stewart OK UPDATE: hearing that Tony Stewart's plane collided with a deer on a runway in San Antonio, TX this week and barely avoided disaster. The plane is out of commission for two months. This is all I know.
    UPDATE: A private plane carrying Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart hit a deer on a runway while landing Tuesday night at a rural airport near San Antonio, TX. Stewart was not injured in the incident, but his Cessna Citation Bravo, a twin-engine executive jet, was damaged and will be out of service for several weeks, team officials confirmed. Stewart was on his way to Las Vegas, where he had a promotional appearance scheduled for Wednesday morning. The plane was landing for a scheduled stop for fuel. Stewart chartered another plane and continued the trip.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-8-2002)

  • Stewart and DNF's: #20-Tony Stewart started the season with a last-place finish, his first of six DNFs (Did Not Finish), in February at the Daytona 500. No other driver in the top 10 in points has as many DNFs as Stewart, and no driver has won the championship with that many DNFs since Darrell Waltrip had eight, but won 12 races, in 1982. By contrast, Bobby Labonte, Stewart's teammate, finished every race -- every lap but nine -- when he won the championship in 2000.(Sporting News)(11-1-2002)

  • Stewart's health a concern? Tony Stewart complained of a severe headache during the race at Martinsville because too much carbon monoxide was getting into the cockpit after he was involved in a three-car incident that caved in the crush panels on his Pontiac. The track physician and a NASCAR nurse attended to Stewart, who finished 11th, after the race, and he received oxygen before leaving the track, nearly two hours after the race. This has been an issue at other times this season for Stewart, who appears more susceptible to carbon monoxide than most. NASCAR director John Darby said he is aware of the situation and that NASCAR is conducting studies to assess "what's going on in the cockpit."(Sporting News)(10-21-2002)

  • Nice Gesture by Stewart: In a gesture of good will and true character for potential Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart, Midget driver Dave Darland's father passed away from a heart attack on Friday night and Stewart provided his plane to fly Darland and his wife home to Indiana to be with family. Darland was the current USAC Midget Series point leader going into the South Boston event. Due to this sudden loss, he was unable to compete. The thoughts and prayers of the South Boston Speedway Family go out to David Darland and his family.(South Boston Speedway PR)(10-20-2002)

  • Stewart Apologizes to Photographer: Photographer Gary Mook, who was freelancing for the Indianapolis Star during the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August, told the newspaper Friday that he met with the driver at a suburban Kansas City restaurant on Thursday. Mook said Stewart, a Columbus, Ind., native, told him his "emotional cup was full" when Mook stepped into his path while shooting a picture. Stewart said he shoved Mook, who lives in Kansas City, out of frustration over another disappointing finish to the prestigious race. He apologized and told of his regular visits to a sports psychologist. "He said he believed it happened for a reason, that he was glad it happened and that it has changed his life," Mook said of Stewart. Asked if he felt Stewart, 31, was sincere, Mook said: "Absolutely." Stewart could not be reached for comment and Mook said he photographed him Friday at Kansas Speedway without incident.(Indianapolis Star)(9-28-2002)

  • News Expected on Stewart Today UPDATE: A grand jury is expected to decide today whether to indict driver Tony Stewart on assault charges. A West Virginia woman claims Stewart shoved her following a race at Bristol four weeks ago. Following an investigation by Sullivan County law enforcement officials, the case was presented to a grand jury. County district attorney Greeley Wells told the Roanoke Times that if the grand jury does not return an indictment against Stewart he will consider the matter closed. The woman, however, could still seek civil damages. If the grand jury returns an indictment on the Class B misdemeanor, Stewart, who is in contention for the Winston Cup championship, could face up to six months in jail if convicted. Stewart is already on NASCAR probation for assaulting a photographer in August. Officials will not comment on what action, if any, will be taken against Stewart should he be convicted of assaulting the spectator. Stewart confessed to striking the photographer but denied he shoved the fan, even though a sheriff's deputy said he witnessed the incident.(Tennessean)(9-24-2002)
    UPDATE: A grand jury on Tuesday took no action regarding an misdemeanor assault charge levied against Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart, effectively ending the case. The grand jury was presented with findings and evidence from an investigation by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department on a complaint by a female race fan from Napier, W.Va., that Stewart shoved her against his team's hauler following the Aug. 24 race at Bristol, TN.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-24-2002)
    Stewart Statement: The following is a statement from NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart regarding the decision by a grand jury summoned by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office to take no action in an alleged assault case involving Stewart and a fan following the Aug. 24 Sharpie 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. "Just as I've contended all along, I did not assault anyone and I'm relieved to know a grand jury has come to the same conclusion. While I'm glad to have this matter behind me, it's heartening to know the fairness in which the legal system handled the case, specifically all of those associated with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office. I greatly appreciate the strong support given to me by my fellow drivers throughout this ordeal, as well as the backing provided by my fans, Joe Gibbs Racing, Home Depot, NASCAR, Bristol Motor Speedway, my family and friends. I look forward to having a renewed focus in the remaining races on the Winston Cup schedule beginning with this weekend's event at Kansas."(Motorsports Management International PR)(9-24-2002)

  • Update on Stewart's Bristol Incident: A grand jury in Sullivan County (Tenn.) will determine Tuesday if there is enough evidence to charge Stewart with simple assault ( A West Virginia woman claimed Stewart shoved her out of the way after the Bristol night race, which was three weeks after the Indianapolis Photographer incident). Greeley Wells, the county's district attorney, said that if the grand jury does not return an indictment against Stewart, Wells will consider the case closed. If at least 12 of the 13 grand jury members vote to indict Stewart for the Class B misdemeanor, the case would proceed through the courts. If found guilty there, Stewart could face up to six months in jail and a fine not to exceed $500.(Roanoke Times).(9-22-2002)

  • Gibb's Testing Chevy's: Bobby Labonte said his Joe Gibbs Racing team plans to test the 2003 Chevrolet this week in preparation for the team's move to the Chevy camp next season. Gibbs' drivers, Labonte and Tony Stewart, currently drive the Pontiac Grand Prix. "We've tested the 2003 Pontiac already a couple times and basically it is the same sheet metal except for the nose and tail. That kind of helps us out a little bit, also," Labonte said. "We've kind of tested already. We've already had a trip to Talladega where we ran this year's car and next year's car, too, to get an idea to see which way to start with it. That's going along pretty good." (ThatsRacin.com)(9-22-2002)

  • Stewart to run Cup races only: Kenny Schrader has been called upon as a relief driver for Tony Stewart in the Sunoco Race of Champions Modified 200 scheduled for Saturday at Oswego Speedway. Stewart will still be in attendance to sign autographs for spectators as well as all of his fans in the scheduled "meet and greet" session. In a letter received at the speedway, dated Friday, September 20th, Motorsports Management International, the group that represents Tony Stewart, states that Stewart has been directed by Joe Gibbs Racing to forego participating as a driver in all non-Winston Cup events. Stewart, who is in the midst of one of the closest point battles in NASCAR Winston Cup Series history has only nine races left on the Winston Cup schedule and his team has emphasized his need to have total focus on that series. In spite of the decision handed down by Joe Gibbs racing, Stewart is honoring his commitment to his fans by attending Saturday's event and signing autographs for a period of two hours. Stewart had been looking forward to participating in this event.(Oswego Speedway Site and see a story at Syracuse.com)(9-20-2002)

  • TV Stuff on NBC about Tony Stewart and the EMT: In the most recently reported incident involving driver Tony Stewart, in which a safety worker accused Stewart of striking him while exiting his car following a crash at the July race here, the New England 300. Today NBC showed never-before-seen footage of the alleged incident. NBC pre-race host and lead pit reporter Bill Weber explained that NASCAR saw the tape this morning: They reviewed it and restated their original opinion that they do not consider this an issue. It is over with and closed. Now, from the garage there is some concern that the bulls-eye on Tony Stewart seems to be growing. NBC analyst Wally Dallenbach explained to viewers that, as a driver, he used to speak to track safety workers during safety seminars. He explained what was going through his, and likely Tony Stewarts mind, while exiting the car after an on-track accident: If Im in a wreck and Im okay, give me room. Do not touch me. Do not get in my space because Im angry. When you get out of that car youre very ticked off and you dont want anybody touching or grabbing you. NBC analyst Benny Parsons said the incident was blown out of proportion, but Tony was wrong in doing that. The guy was just trying to help him.(NBC PR)(9-16-2002)

  • Stewart Accused by NHIS EMT: Tony Stewart has been accused by an emergency medical technician at New Hampshire International Speedway of punching him during the July race at the track. EMT Phil Jewett said Stewart punched him as he attempted to attend to Stewart following the driver's wreck on Lap 121. "As soon as he saw me in the corner of his eye he swung at me and hit me in the left arm," Jewett told The Concord (N.H.) Monitor in Saturday's edition. Track officials were unable to confirm if Jewett was working this weekend's race. Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for communications, said Jewett notified the Winston Cup series' medical liaison the day of the incident and the liaison notified NASCAR President Mike Helton. Hunter confirmed that Helton spoke with Jewett the day of the incident and also spoke with Stewart. "That issue ended here. Outside of a 'Get your hands off me' gesture or that kind of stuff, we knew Tony was upset that day because he wouldn't get in the ambulance and wouldn't go to the infield care center," Hunter said. "One of things they tell them in the safety meeting, is when the guys get out of the cars, don't put your hands on them. They tell the EMTs that these guys are mad when they get out of the car," Hunter said. "In this instance, we just felt (Stewart) just shrugged (Jewett's) hands off of him." Hunter said he considered the incident closed and was surprised Jewett chose to bring the issue up again. Jewett told the paper he came forward because he said Helton had told him he would investigate the incident and get back to him. "Nobody ever got back to me," Jewett told the paper. "They didn't get back to my supervisors or anyone from Raceway Ambulance. That's another reason why I'm irritated about it now." Stewart's team spokesman, Mike Arning, said Stewart would not comment on the issue. Arning and others with the team could not comment because they were not with Stewart when the incident occurred. "NASCAR is the eyes and ears of the race and they say they couldn't find any evidence of anything wrong and we accept that," he said.(ThatsRacin.com) and more at NASCAR.com.(9-14-2002)

  • Stewart to wait two weeks: Sullivan County investigators have wrapped up their probe of Tony Stewart, but the NASCAR driver will wait another two weeks to learn if he will be charged with assaulting a fan at Bristol. "The investigation is pretty much finished except to turn it over to (prosecutors)," Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson said Tuesday. "It will be turned over on Monday." Prosecutors have said the case will be presented to a county grand jury at the end of the month; the grand jury will decide whether to issue an indictment in the case. Meanwhile, Anderson has made public an incident report filed by Deputy Shane Christian -- the officer who said he witnessed the encounter between Stewart and the woman. Christian wrote that he saw the 31-year-old NASCAR driver shove the woman against a race trailer at 11:30 p.m. after the running of the Sharpie 500 on Aug. 24 at Bristol Motor Speedway. He filed the report four days after the alleged incident. "He took his left arm and shoved her out of the way. The female's back struck the Home Deport car hauler and she appeared to trip over either tires or rims that were lying at her feet," Christian wrote. Stewart yelled an obscenity and told the woman to get out of his way, Christian wrote. The deputy said he spoke with Shaffer immediately after the incident and asked if she wanted to charge the driver, according to the report. The woman apparently was unharmed in the incident, authorities have said.(Bristol Herald Courier)(9-11-2002)

  • Stewart named in assault probe UPDATE 2 Stewart Statement AND more: NASCAR and the Sullivan County, TN, Sheriff's Department are investigating allegations of assault against a female fan by Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart immediately following the Aug. 24 race at Bristol, TN. A statement released Friday by the Sheriff's Office said the victim alleges Stewart shoved her in the pit area following the race and an investigation had been started. The investigation will include "all persons known to have been in the area when the alleged assault took place," the statement said. Following the completion of the investigation, the results will be submitted to the district attorney's office and presented to the Sullivan County Grand Jury to determine if charges should be brought. The Ssheriff's Department said officials from Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR and Joe Gibbs Racing were cooperating in the investigation. Gibbs officials declined to comment on the matter Friday, but team owner Joe Gibbs is expected to address the media Saturday at Richmond International Raceway, site of Saturday night's Chevrolet 400 Winston Cup race. NASCAR officials confirmed they knew of the incident as soon as the week following the race through discussions with officials at the track. "We are aware of the alleged incident. We have looked into it and we're going to see what happens when this investigation is done and we are cooperating in this investigation," said NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter. Asked if there was any substance to the allegations, Hunter replied: "I'd rather not say right now until they complete their investigation and we'll see how that goes. They are pursuing it right now. This lady did not come to NASCAR. As far as I know, she went to the Sheriff's Department." Stewart was recently fined $10,000 by NASCAR and placed on probation through the end of the season for striking a photographer following the Aug. 4 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His sponsor, Home Depot, also fined Stewart $50,000 and placed him on probation for the rest of the season.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(9-6-2002)
    UPDATE: #20 team owner (Stewart - Home Depot Pontiac) Joe Gibbs would speak on the matter at 6:30pm/et on Saturday at Richmond Intl Raceway. i have heard NOTHING besides what is seen here, nothing has been released or said since.(9-7-2002)
    UPDATE 2 - Statement: The following is a statement from NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart regarding the ongoing investigation by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office into an alleged incident between Stewart and a fan following the Aug. 24 Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway:
    "In light of the ongoing investigation into the alleged incident following the Bristol night race, it would be inappropriate for me to comment in any great detail until law enforcement officials have completed their investigation, interviewing anyone and everyone who has knowledge about the events that transpired in the moments following the race. I am personally cooperating with the investigators, and I have advised all the people who work with me to cooperate as well. I am confident that once the investigation is complete, I will be cleared of any and all accusations. I will say, however, that I did not assault anyone. In fact, I am shocked and truly at a loss as to why someone would make such an allegation."(Motorsports Management International PR)
    AND Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart's car owner, Joe Gibbs, promised Saturday to cooperate in every way with an investigation by Tennessee law enforcement authorities into a charge of assault levied against Stewart by a female race fan. "We want every single thing - whatever it is - truthfully, to be said about this," Gibbs said, a day after the Sullivan County, Tenn., Sheriff's Department released a statement saying it was investigating whether Stewart shoved a fan following the Aug. 24 Winston Cup race at Bristol, TN. "We would like for it all to be out in the open," Gibbs said. "In every way, we want to try and cooperate. I think that is what every single person in our group has done." Gibbs said he talked with every member of his organization who was with Stewart at the conclusion of the race. "Basically, what they all told me was they saw nothing out of the ordinary." NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said no action would be taken against Stewart regarding the latest incident until law enforcement authorities have concluded their investigation. Driver Dale Jarrett spoke up during Saturday's prerace drivers' meeting to express support for Stewart. He received a round of applause from those in attendance.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-7-2002)
    WHAT HAPPENED? According to men familiar with the situation, the incident began when Stewart was walking back to his hauler. With less than three feet of space between the rigs in the garage area, Stewart reached the side door to his rig and pushed aside a woman to open the door and climb into his dressing room. The woman, so far unnamed, then went to the back of the truck and awaited Stewart. When he appeared, after changing, she told him, 'You owe me an apology.' Stewart, somewhat taken aback, said, 'OK, I'm sorry.' Then Stewart, as he walked away, grumbled to his crew about race fans in the garage, remarks that apparently sparked the official complaint.(more at the Winston Salem Journal) also - After the race started, NASCAR officials had law-enforcement officials sweep the garage of fans, apparently in response to driver complaints about security issues related to the Tony Stewart issue at Bristol two weeks ago.(9-8-2002)

  • Stewart comes in 2nd in ARCA race, Kimmel wins: Tony Stewart came up just a few feet short at DuQuoin, Ill. on Monday. Stewart gave Frank Kimmel all he could handle over the final 20 laps, but Kimmel held on for his 42nd career ARCA/ReMax Series win. Ken Schrader finished third. Seventy-five year old Red Farmer finished fourth, and Winston Cup owner Andy Petree finished 33rd.(FoxSports)(9-3-2002)

  • Stewart ain't going anywhere: Joe Gibbs Racing hoped to silence talk that Tony Stewart might be trying to get out of his contract early, saying there have been no discussions between the driver and team. "There's absolutely no truth to that," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "The nature of this sport is that when a guy is running well, other teams try to talk to him. But there's no truth that Tony is trying to leave." Stewart, in his fourth season with Gibbs, is signed through 2004. There's been speculation that he might drive for Chip Ganassi, who fielded a car for Stewart in the Indianapolis 500 last season, and it's believed Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tried to get him when he was considering buying into a Winston Cup team. But Gibbs said Stewart isn't going anywhere, at least for the time being. "He's here at least through '04," Gibbs said. "Our policy has always been to not talk about guys under contract, so we don't talk about that."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(9-1-2002)

  • Stewart and Harvick set to races trucks ar RIR: Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick will join the mix of the most competitive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season in history when they drive in the Virginia is for Lovers 200 race on Thursday, September 5 at Richmond International Raceway. Also expected to drive in the race are Bobby Hamilton, Stacey Compton and Ken Schrader. Heading into the Virginia is for Lovers 200, eight drivers are within 133 points of leader Mike Bliss. Rounding out the top eight are Terry Cook, Musgrave, Rick Crawford, Robert Pressley, Jason Leffler, David Starr and Setzer, who won the pole at Richmond International Raceway last year. Bliss and Cook lead the series with four wins each this season. For the second straight year at Richmond, Harvick will field his own truck, while Stewart will drive for Andy Petree. All seats for the Virginia is for Lovers 200 are only $30. Renewable, reserved tickets to the FUNAI 250 are only $40 and general admission tickets are only $35. Tickets to the FUNAI 250 include practice and qualifying for Saturday's Monte Carlo 400 With The Looney Tunes- The Rematch!, which is sold out. In addition, kids 12 and under are free in the general admission sections on Thursday and Friday when accompanied by a paying adult and military personnel receive $5 off general admission tickets both nights.(Richmond International Raceway PR)(8-28-2002)

  • Stewart works for Peanuts": Action Performance announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing, The Home Depot and United Media that will bring the Peanuts" characters from the strip created by Charles M. Schulz back to the racetrack. This time, the Peanuts" gang will be on the lookout for the harbinger of Halloween-The Great Pumpkin, and NASCAR Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart will be leading the way. The Peanuts" characters will be featured twice at the track as part of this year's Great Pumpkin event. Initially, Stewart will pilot the black #20 The Home Depot/In Search of the Great Pumpkin Pontiac during the August night race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Stewart's final Peanuts"-themed car also will be unveiled in August and ultimately will race during the October event in Atlanta.(Action Performance Companies PR), see my Paint Scheme Gallery for images of each scheme.(8-23-2002)

  • No Chevy for Gibbs in 2002: Joe Gibbs Racing was considering running the 2002 [Chevy] Monte Carlo in several events this year. Driving that consideration was the Pontiacs performance on the flatter, intermediate tracks combined with the Gibbs organization desire to stay in the point hunt as the season closed. Michigan was one of the tracks where Gibbs was thinking a Monte Carlo would be better than a Grand Prix. The team, after testing the Monte Carlo, decided that it wasnt worth the more than a half-million dollar investment it would have taken to make the car competitive; and took Michigan off the table. With Michigan off the table the decision to scrap all plans for the 2002 Monte Carlo was an easy one for the Gibbs organization to make. The two-car Gibbs operation is readying for their wholesale swap to Chevrolet hardware for the 2003 season, but the new car has not been officially approved and templates are not officially released. That will change, however, when NASCAR approves the 2003 Monte, which will in all likelihood come as a package with the standardized body locations bulletin.(Ford Racing)(8-18-2002)

  • Stewart to have help at the track: Tony Stewart, who qualified 24th, will have on-site anger management counseling available the rest of the season. His counselor is scheduled to arrive at Michigan International Speedway today and has cleared his schedule to travel with Stewart to the remaining 13 races. Stewart is on probation for the rest of the season from NASCAR and sponsor Home Depot for punching a free-lance photographer working for The Indianapolis Star after the Brickyard 400. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Bobby Labonte, said this latest incident has gotten Stewart's attention. "If anything is going to change, this is the time," Labonte said.(Indianapolis Star)(8-17-2002)

  • Coke not bailing on Stewart: getting much email about folks hearing that Coca Cola had released Tony Stewart from the Coca Cola Racing Family but been told that there is NO truth to that rumor whatsoever.(8-14-2002)

  • Tony Stewart wins at Watkins Glen: #20-Tony Stewart, after a tough week with the Indy incident, Tony Stewart won the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen. #12-Ryan Newman, without power steering, finished 2nd.
    Race Results at: ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(8-11-2002)

  • Stewart says job was in jeopardy: Tony Stewart admitted Friday that his altercation with a photographer following last Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway nearly cost him his job with Joe Gibbs Racing. "I came real close to losing my job. I really hurt the people at Home Depot (his sponsor). I've said it from Day 1, they're the best sponsor you could ask for," Stewart said. "They've been real supportive. Before we even knew what the outcome of this would be with my job, I talked to a bunch of them. They said they would do whatever they could to help me out." Earlier this week, Stewart was fined $10,000 by NASCAR and placed on probation for punching Gary Mook, a free-lance photographer with the Indianapolis Star. Thursday, Stewart's sponsor added a $50,000 fine and probation of its own. "What probably hurts the most is I let Home Depot down and all the people at Joe Gibbs Racing down who give their whole lives to doing what we do," Stewart said. "Then to have someone like myself destroy that for everybody is a hard responsibility and hard pill to swallow." Stewart said he thought he could control his temper, but now realizes that is not the case. "We'll find someone who can help me do that. If it makes me less of a person or less of a man, than so be it. It's what I have to do for myself. Aside from the race car, I have to do it for me," he said. "I didn't even know I had a problem until last week. I'm willing to do whatever I have to do to make myself a happy person again. It's going to take a lot of work."(ThatsRacin.com)(8-10-2002)

  • Cool Down Lap?: In the wake of Tony Stewart's skirmish with a photographer last week at Indianapolis, NASCAR officials are entertaining the idea of a ``cooling- off'' period similar to those in other professional sports. Winston Cup director John Darby said Friday there have been no formal discussions, but ``it's an idea that might be worth considering.'' Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications, said it probably won't happen soon. "`We'll consider anything,'' he said. "`But we've always left that sort of thing up to the teams. ... I don't think it's in the best interest of NASCAR to change a system that's worked for 53 years, just because of one particular driver.'' Major league baseball, football, basketball and hockey teams have cooling off periods of 10 to 15 minutes after games.(Tampa Tribune)(8-10-2002)

  • Home Depot Fines Stewart and puts him on Probation: The Home Depot, sponsor of NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart and the #20 team of Joe Gibbs Racing, has fined Stewart $50,000 and placed him on probation for the remainder of the 2002 season following an incident with a photographer upon the conclusion of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 4, 2002. The fine and probation are in addition to the $10,000 fine and probation NASCAR levied against Stewart following their own investigation. The $50,000 fine will go to the United Way of Central Indiana to be used for a variety of after school programs for children. The Home Depot made its decision after consulting the publisher's office of The Indianapolis Star-News , the newspaper whose freelance photographer was involved in the incident. "Tony Stewart's actions following the Brickyard 400 do not at all represent the values and beliefs of the over 290,000 associates who comprise the backbone and spirit of The Home Depot," said Hugh Miskel, director of sales promotion for The Home Depot. "We value our relationship with the media, fans and competitors of NASCAR, and the behavior displayed following the Brickyard 400 will not be tolerated from any member of our race team now or in the future." The Home Depot, the official home improvement warehouse of NASCAR, has been the primary sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart since 1999.(Edelman PR)(8-8-2002)

  • Home Depot May Dump Stewart? UPDATE - NO: For the second year in a row, Tony Stewart is on probation. Following an incident after the Brickyard 400 last weekend NASCAR officials fined Stewart $10,000 and placed him on probation through the end of the year. NASCAR also is requiring Stewart issue a formal apology. Stewart feels lucky to get off so easy with the sanctioning body. His concern now is that sponsor Home Depot and car owner Joe Gibbs might not be so forgiving. ``I'm worried,'' Stewart said. ``The people at Home Depot are not happy.'' The next 48 hours are crucial to his career in Winston Cup racing. Should executives at Home Depot decide Stewart is more liability than asset, the ax could fall before practice starts for the Sirius Satellite Radio at Watkins Glen on Friday. Stewart has expressed regret that the incident occurred and is taking steps to help him avoid similar outcomes in the future. For his part, Mook says the media has blown the incident out of proportion. Mook says Stewart hit him only once, not the two, three or even four times claimed by others.(full story and other notes at the Tampa Tribune)
    UPDATE: The Home Depot is concerned with Tony Stewart's behavior, but the home improvement chain has voiced no intentions of replacing him as driver or leaving Joe Gibbs Racing, JGR president J.D. Gibbs told NASCAR.com on Wednesday. Recent reports said that Home Depot was so disgruntled with Stewart's latest tirade -- in which he shoved and attempted to kick Gary Mook, and Indianapolis Star freelance photographer, following the Brickyard 400 last Sunday -- that they were contemplating the possibility of removing Stewart from the seat of the #20 Pontiac.(NASCAR.com)(8-7-2002)

  • Stewart to seek help: Tony Stewart admits he has an anger management problem. "I'm going to seek professional help," he said Tuesday night after signing autographs before racing at the Terre Haute, IN action track. Stewart was fined $10,000 Tuesday for punching freelance photographer Gary Mook in Gasoline Alley following Sunday's Brickyard 400. Stewart said he spoke with NASCAR officials Tuesday before arriving in Terre Haute. In addition to the fine of $10,000, NASCAR ordered Stewart to apologize to Mook. "I look forward to apologizing to Mr. Mook in person," Steward told Eyewitness News Tuesday. "He deserves that."(WTHR Indianapolis and see a video clip on their main page)(8-7-2002)

  • Stewart Reportedly Throws Punches UPDATE 3 Fined and Probation: After exiting his car in one of the garage bays after the Brickyard 400, #20-Tony Stewart was approached by photographer, Gary Mook, who was working the race on a freel-ance basis with the Indianapolis Star. After Mook had taken some pictures, Stewart turned and threw several punches at Mook, witnesses said. Approximately 15 minutes later, Mook was seen having a prolonged discussion with Stewart's team owner, Joe Gibbs, and crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, outside Stewart's hauler. Mook then left the garage, waving off questions from reporters. Stewart, who started on the pole, ran up front nearly the entire race, but in the final laps he appeared slow and finished 12th. Neither Gibbs nor Zipadelli would acknowledge much about the incident. "I talked to the gentleman and I feel confident we don't have a problem there," Gibbs said. "We had a good discussion. That's all I really need to say about it." Said Zipadelli: "I have no idea. When I got to the hauler he was already gone. I have not heard anything and don't know anything about it. I couldn't tell you any more than that." Winston Cup series director John Darby said he was aware of an incident between Stewart and a photographer following the race, but was unsure about its nature. He said NASCAR would be examining the issue further. "I just know little bits and pieces that we've heard so far. We're looking into it now," Darby said. "What we're starting to hear back is it may be two guys goofing around, but I don't know." Zipadelli seemed at a loss to explain what happened to Stewart's car in the final laps of Sunday's race. "We surely had at least a fourth-place car all day. I don't know what happened at the end, other than frustration set in," he said. "We've dealt with that enough to know our circumstances and instead of coming out of here fourth and fifth, we come out of here 12th."(ThatsRacin.com)(8-4-2002)
    UPDATE: The Indianapolis Star plans to file a letter of complaint with NASCAR. That's because driver Tony Stewart's temper got the best of him yesterday after the Brickyard 400. Stewart hurriedly walked off after the race, and the Star's free-lance photographer Gary Mook, was following when Stewart broke into a trot to get away. Mook ran alongside Stewart, and Stewart threw several punches, connecting to Mook's chest and stomach. Mook told the Star Stewart came toward him and struck him in the chest to get him out of the way, and he didn't pursue Stewart after that. He says Stewart struck him once, and the confrontation is being blown out of proportion. Spokesman Jim Hunter says NASCAR is investigating the incident.(NASCAR/AP) FSN's Totally NASCAR showed video of a portion of the 'punch/show.(8-5-2002)
    UPDATE 2 - Provoked? NASCAR chairman Bill France wonders whether Tony Stewart might have been provoked into hitting a photographer after a 12th-place finish in the Brickyard 400. While NASCAR continued its investigation Monday, France said he would be interested in seeing pictures or footage of the confrontation, if any exist. France did not condone Stewart's actions but wanted to know whether the photographer might have been too aggressive in doing his job, which could have angered Stewart. "All I know is what I have heard, and I don't know what provoked it," France told The Associated Press. NASCAR spent Monday interviewing several reporters and photographers who witnessed the altercation, with some saying Stewart also kicked Mook, said NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter. No one has come forward with photographic evidence.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(8-6-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Tony Stewart has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31 as a result of an altercation with a media member following Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Pontiac, was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book: "Actions detrimental to stock car racing." In addition to the fine and probation, NASCAR will require Stewart to make a formal apology to the media member. The penalties were assessed after NASCAR officials conducted a thorough investigation of the incident. "It is imperative that we protect the integrity of our sport," NASCAR President Mike Helton said. "This type of behavior cannot be tolerated and is in no way indicative of the manner in which our drivers, teams, tracks and sponsors interact with the media. We take pride in our accessibility and interaction with the media and we intend to protect that relationship."(NASCAR PR)(8-6-2002)

  • Stewart and Havoline? in 2004? Sources say this [Silly Season] could get real much uglier next year, when Havoline attempts to conclude an alleged deal with Tony Stewart for 2004, whether that includes Ganassi or not. Word is Havoline and Stewart have at least a handshake for that season. Joe Gibbs team reps say Stewart's contracts (and those of Home Depot and of major players such as Greg Zipadelli, Ronny Crooks and Mark Cronquist) are through 2004. It is not known whether 2004 is an "option" year, and we all know that racing contracts are only as good as the desire (by all parties) to fulfill them. The way the scene reads, Rudd would join Havoline/Ganassi for one year, then retire. Havoline then would put Stewart in the car for 2004 and beyond.(Speed Channel)(8-4-2002)

  • Stewart in the booth for BGN races: Tony Stewart will join the NASCAR on TNT telecast team for three BGN races, beginning with the Midas presents NASCAR Busch Series Racing from Indy this Saturday, August 3, at 8:00pm/et on TNT. Stewart will join TNT play-by-play announcer Allen Bestwick and analyst Benny Parsons in the booth. This is the fourth time Stewart has worked behind the microphone for TNT, most recently in Daytona for the network's 2002 Speedweek coverage. In addition, Stewart will also join the booth for the BGN races in Michigan and Charlotte. He will also make two additional appearances on TNT, with those appearances still to be determined.(Turner PR)(8-3-2002)

  • New Assoc for the #20: Glidden, a leading paint brand, announced that it will join Joe Gibbs Racing as an associate sponsor on the #20 Home Depot Pontiac driven by Tony Stewart, and begin a new promotional relationship with NASCAR.(PR) and check out their cool site: gliddenpaint.com(7-30-2002)

  • Stewart visits Lasoski in hospital: Tony Stewart used his afternoon off Saturday to visit Danny Lasoski in a Mechanicsburg, Pa., hospital. Lasoski, who drives a World of Outlaws sprint car owned by Stewart, was injured in a crash Friday night. "Mentally he's ready to get back in the car, but physically he's not even close," said Stewart. Lasoski is in a tight battle with Steve Kinser for the Outlaws title. The crash probably ends his chances of a repeat championship and renders him doubtful for Saturday's International Race of Champions finale at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Indianapolis Star)(7-29-2002)

  • Stewart Ticked: Tony Stewarts 320-Home Depot Pontiac was a prime contender until lap 122 of Sundays New England 300, when, for no apparent reason, the car careened radically outside and into the wall in turn four. Stewart reported via radio there had been no blown tire, and the incident helped set off a firestorm of criticism of the track. Michael Waltrip, Casey Atwood, Kyle Petty and Steve Park had similar crashes in the same area. After limping nearly to the other end of the track, Stewart left the car in the grassy area inside of turns one and two. He then walked to his motorcoach instead of to the infield care center, where drivers involved in accidents are normally required to report for a routine check-up. Initially, Stewarts crewmen reported to NASCAR officials that they intended to do repairs and put the car back on the track. Officials then informed them Stewart reporting to the infield hospital would be required before he would be allowed to return. A few minutes later, the No. 20 Pontiac was officially retired from the race, and Stewart settled for 39th place.(Gaston Gazette)(7-22-2002)

  • Chevy or Pontiac? a draw? UPDATE 3 A Pontiac at Indy: #20-Tony Stewart and #18-Bobby Labonte tested both Chevrolets and Pontiacs in Monday's opening session of the two-day Winston Cup test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the results appeared to be a virtual dead heat. Stewart's best speed was a 175.632mph in his 40 laps in a Chevy, good for 23rd place on the day, but he had a 175.457 in his 39 laps in a Pontiac, which was the 25th best of the session, Labonte had a best of 173.476 in his 39 laps in a Monte Carlo (40th overall) and a 173.43 in 16 laps in a Pontiac (45th of the 54 driver/car combinations). The team announced Sunday it would switch to Chevrolet entries next year and might run them in some events this season.(Winston Cup Scene Newsletter)(7-16-2002)
    UPDATE - looks like a #20 Chevy at Indy: FSN's Totally NASCAR reports that it is likely that Joe Gibbs Racing will run a Chevy for Tony Stewart and the #20 Home Depot team in the Brickyard 400 at Indy, didn't mention the #18-Labonte team.(7-17-2002)
    UPDATE 2: however, sources with the team tell me that the decision has yet to be made and supposedly the #20 is leaning heavily towards the Pontiac though and not the Chevy. As for the #18 team, there will be another test next week and a decision will be based following that test.(7-18-2002)
    UPDATE 3: during TNT's qualifying coverage of the New Hampshire 300 on Friday, Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli were interviewed on the war wagon and Zipadelli said they would run a Pontiac at Indy for the Brickyear 400, but would test a Chevy at Kentucky and may run it at a place like Michigan. #18-Bobby Labonte said in a later interview that he would run a Pontiac at Indy also.(7-19-2002)




    the #20 and #18 Chevy's testing at Indy this week - Creative Motorsports Images

  • Stewart wins modified race in CT: Tony Stewart won a Modified race at Thompson International Speedway on Wednesday night, beating old rival Teddy Christopher in a photo finish. Stewart, in the area for the Winston Cup race Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway, drove a car borrowed from Ed Partridge after an engine failure. "`I told everybody that if I got close to him at the end, that I would put him away,'' Stewart said. ``We may have had a few bad times back in 1997, but there are few drivers I've raced against who have as much God-given talent as Teddy Christopher.'' The 20-lap race, hyped as a grudge match between the rivals, featured 10 lead changes before Christopher passed Stewart on the 19th lap, only to see the advantage vanish at the finish. "`So much for all the prerace publicity,'' said Christopher, the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series national champion. "All we wanted to do was go out there and race hard. Have some fun and see what happens. I'll be a gracious host and give him the win.''(CBS Sportsline/AP)(7-18-2002)

  • Gibbs Racing to Chevy - it's official - may run some in 2002: Joe Gibbs made official Sunday his intention to move his two Winston Cup teams [#18 and #20] from Pontiac and Chevrolet next season. Gibbs said his teams would also test both Pontiacs and Chevrolets the remainder of this season and would utilize Chevrolets in some races later this year if the Chevrolets tested better, perhaps as early as the Brickyard 400. "Pontiac has been a great partner for us," said Gibbs. "We've been in Chevrolet before. I don't think Pontiac could have done anything more for us. We feel like starting next year we will be in a better position as a race team where we can benchmark our cars against a lot of other good cars. It's just sheer numbers for us." Gibbs' organization played a large role in the development of the 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix, which was recently approved for competition by NASCAR, and has also built several Chevrolets. The 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is still being tested and has not yet been approved for competition by NASCAR. Tony Stewart, driver of Gibbs' #20 Pontiac, echoed Gibbs' statements. "I just want what everyone else has. I don't want to be beat by a rules package," Stewart said. "If I'm going to get beat, I want it to be by another driver. And I think being in a larger group, where Joe (Gibbs) can go into the NASCAR hauler and plead our case if it needs pleading, will help, because it won't just be Joe, it'll be Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Inc." Pontiac officials said Sunday they still plan to field entries in NASCAR. "Pontiac will be racing in 2003. We're very excited about the new car," said Doug Duchhardt, NASCAR Group Manager for General Motors Racing. "We're working on some new teams. We're in negotiations with some teams. We're quite confident we'll have a good lineup next year to campaign for the Pontiacs."(ThatsRacin.com). Stewart will test a Pontiac and Chevy at Indy on Tues and Wed. Doug Duchardt, NASCAR group manager of GM Racing, and Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), announced today that Gibbs' two NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams of Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte would switch from Pontiac to Chevrolet for the 2003 Winston Cup season. JGR fielded a Chevrolet from its inception in 1992 through the 1996 Winston Cup season with Dale Jarrett and then Bobby Labonte as its drivers. It started running a Pontiac in 1997 with Labonte, and then two Pontiacs in 1999 when Stewart joined the organization as a rookie. Of the 35 Winston Cup victories and the 26 Winston Cup pole positions earned by JGR in its 10-year history, 29 wins and 20 poles have been won with a Pontiac.(Edleman PR)(7-14-2002)

  • Gibbs to Chevy announcement Sunday: Joe Gibbs Racing will make its long-rumored change in manufacturer official on Sunday. Gibbs will announce during a scheduled General Motors press conference at Chicagoland Speedway his two Winston Cup teams will move to the Chevrolet camp beginning with the 2003 season, sources confirmed Friday. The move by drivers Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart to Chevrolets next season will leave just three Pontiac drivers  #14-Stacy Compton, #36-Ken Schrader and #10-Johnny Benson. Pontiac officials continue to court new teams, with their top candidate the PPI Racing [#32] team owned by Cal Wells, sources said. Gibbs ran Chevrolets when his first entered the Winston Cup series but switched to Pontiacs at the start of the 1997 season. Ironically, Gibbs organization has been deeply involved in the development of the 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix  last redesigned at the start of the 1996 season. NASCAR recently approved the design of the car for competition beginning next season.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-12-2002)

  • Pit Crew of the Week: Daytona is not good to the #20 guys. The #20 crew was the hardest working crew at the track on Sunday. Results did not reflect their hard work. They earned the NAPCM Pit Crew Of The Week for their struggle against bad luck.(NAPCM PR)(7-10-2002)

  • Stewart to run CTS race at Richmond: A friendship born at a state fairgrounds in Illinois will come to successful fruition in Virginia in September. Tony Stewart will drive the Andy Petree-owned entry in the CTS race at Richmond, Va., Thursday, September 5. Petrees Chevy was one of the top teams in its sole other start this season, Aprils Martinsville, Va., event. That was with Petree himself behind the wheel. The agreement is for the Richmond race only, and the Truck is currently unsponsored. Petrees debut as a CTS driver was stellar. The highest-qualifying Chevrolet when he took the third starting spot at Martinsville, Petree ran among the leaders throughout the race until a mechanical problem ended his day right at the end of the race.(Williams Company PR)(7-10-2002)

  • Stewart races in Indiana UPDATE: Citing a chance to return to his midget car roots, NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart will race at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, WI on July 7th in the Showdown at the Prairie. Stewart, who was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame last year at Angell Park, will compete in the midgets portion of the showdown. He will drive the same Stealth midget car he drove to victory Jan. 12 at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, OK.
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart took home a souvenir Sunday from his visit to Angell Park Speedway. It was a T-shirt emblazoned with the name and car of a hometown driver who beat him. Sun Prairie's Brandon Waelti won the 25-lap midgets feature at the Showdown at the Prairie, trading the lead with A.J. Fike and passing him for good on lap 19. He held a .54-second margin of victory over Fike. Stewart started 22nd in the 23-car field, passed six cars on the first lap and eventually finished ninth on the third-mile clay oval. Stewart and CTS regular Jason Leffler drove for car owner Keith Kunz of Columbus, IN. Leffler, who was only slated to run in the midgets feature, retired after flipping his car in turn one on the ninth lap. Stewart conducted an autograph session before practice, but declined interview requests. He won the first midget heat on the race program. Despite the fact that Stewart started on the outside front row for the sprints event, polesitter J.J. Yeley dominated the 24-car field. Stewart bolted to the lead on the first turn of the race, but Yeley took over on the fourth lap and never looked back. With several lapped cars between the two drivers, Yeley steered to a 5.67-second lead at one point and held on for a 3.28-second margin of victory. Attendance: Angell Park race organizer Les McBurney said approximately 5,000 spectators were in attendance. The track has a seating capacity of 6,000.(Capital Times)(7-9-2002)

  • Stewart 5th, Nadeau 6th in road race: James Weaver and Chris Dyson drove the Dyson Racing Team to a victory in the Rolex Sports Car Series Jani King Paul Revere 250 that finished Friday at 12:30am/et. Weaver and Dyson covered the 70-lap, 250-mile distance in a time of 2:16:41.765 in their Ford Riley & Scott. Polesitters Didier Theys and Fredy Lienhard finished second in the Doran Lista Racing Judd- engined Dallara, 4.324 seconds back. NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart and Jerry Nadeau also drove in the event. Stewart finished fifth and Nadeau was sixth.(Tampa Tribune)(7-6-2002)

  • Home Depot to host Gold Medalists: The Home Depot will host seven 2002 Olympic Winter Games medalists at Daytona on Saturday, July 6. Derek Parra, Tristan Gale, Garrett Hines, Rusty Smith, Dan Steele, Monte Meier and Danielle Goyette, who all financed their training by working for the home improvement retailer will sign autographs at The Home Depot Experience rig located at the corporate display area from 2-4pm and attend other pre-race activities as a guest of Home Depot Pontiac driver Tony Stewart. The athletes will watch the Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race from the air-conditioned comfort of The Home Depot VIP suite.(Edelman/Home Depot PR)(4th of July 2002)

  • Kenseth wins, Stewart Upset.....in Canada: Matt Kenseth pulled past CASCAR driver Don Thomson to ruin a fairy-tale ending at the Canada Day shootout at Cayuga Speedway before more than 15,000 fans -- the biggest crowd to watch an oval race in this country. Thomson, who had led most of the race, lost his chance to best Kennseth with eight laps to go in the 100-lap event. Kenseth, who already has won three Winston Cup races this season, was among six NASCAR drivers who raced in the event against Canada's best. Al Turner started third and finished third while battling Pete Gibbons and Thomson the entire 100 laps. Winston Cup stars Tony Stewart, Ken Schrader, Dave Blaney and Johnny Benson were never a factor in the race. CTS points leader Ted Musgrave ran in the top five for almost the whole race, but a pre-race decision to go light on fuel cost him a chance to win when his #1 Dodge ran out of gas with five laps left. In an incident near the end of the second 50-lap qualifying race Schrader and Stewart got together in turn two with the No. 20 Pontiac of Stewart ending up getting turned around. Once righted, Stewart went after the #36 of Schrader and pushed him into a spin in turn three. An obviously upset Stewart drove his Pete Vanderwyst-prepared Pontiac behind the pit wall for repairs without trying to better his place on the grid. (Toronto Sun and also see a story at WayMoreSports.com)(7-1-2002)

  • Stewart wins USAC race: Pole sitter Tony Stewart didn't miss a beat at Altamont Speedway on Saturday. After running his Happy Hour laps at the new Infineon Raceway, Stewart set a track record for USAC Sprint cars at the Tracy track. He later raced to a first-place finish in the 40-lap main event. Track manager Dennis Ortolan said Stewart dazzled everyone at his pre-race autograph "He absolutely endeared himself to everyone," Ortolan said. "I had a young kid here with some medical problems and Tony was so great with him. I've met a lot of people doing this, but he's something special."(Modesto Bee)(6-23-2002)

  • Stewart to do double duty at Daytona: Tony Stewart will not only drive his #20 Home Depot Pontiac in the July 6 Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, but he has also signed up to wheel the #2 Home Depot Judd-powered Crawford with road racing veteran