The NEXTEL CUP BANQUET
NYC Dec 3, 2004
- 2004 Winnings Page
Viewer's Guide: Nextel Cup Awards Ceremony by Mark Spoor
the initial posts - newer posted below
- NEXT UP - Waldorf-Astoria to host 2004 awards ceremony: It is the culmination of a driver's career, a NASCAR tradition like no other, a chance to shine on center stage in the world's largest city -- New York. It is the annual NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Awards Ceremony; the 2004 version is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
The series champion and other drivers involved in the "Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup" will be honored at the gala event, first held at the Waldorf in 1981 when then-NASCAR President Bill France determined a higher-profile gathering was in order for an ever-burgeoning sport. Since, the event has grown in prestige as has the "Champion's Week" in New York, with the series champion typically on a whirlwind tour of major media appearances in the country's largest market leading up to the week-ending ceremony, which will be telecast nationally the same evening by TNT [9:00pm/et] and will later be re-telecast on NBC [Dec. 5th 2:00pm/et]. Busch banquet news on my Busch Series page and Truck Series banquet news on my Truck Series page.(NASCAR PR)
NYC Blitz: NASCAR sponsor Nextel plans to have numerous signs throughout New York as part of the sanctioning body's Champions Week celebration Nov. 28-Dec. 3, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. The company's black and yellow colors will be on 10 airport shuttles, 25 taxi tops, 25 phone kiosks around the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, 30 street vendor carts and 250,000 coffee cups around the city. Eight team show cars are scheduled for appearances at numerous locations, including Madison Square Garden, the Plaza Hotel and Times Square, starting Nov. 29.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-20-2004)
- More News on the Banquet:
Although Kurt Busch (#97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Ford) already has earned the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship, he’ll get a taste of what it’s like to celebrate it this week in New York. It’s time for NASCAR’s annual Champion’s Week festivities in the Big Apple, and Busch, who is enjoying his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title, is only the latest champion to be officially crowned in New York. NASCAR has feted its premier-series champion in New York City since 1981, and Busch, who drives for Roush Racing, is following in teammate Matt Kenseth’s (#17 DeWalt Tools Ford) footsteps; Kenseth celebrated his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title during 2003 Champion’s Week.
So it’s back to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for championship-winning car owner Jack Roush, and its venerable Park Ave., stage is set for Busch. At age 26, Busch represents a season of firsts – the first season of series sponsorship for Nextel, the first year of the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup,” the new method of crowning a champion, and many other new twists on and off the track.
He’ll be busy this week with media events, a charity endeavor, appearances on national morning shows, many photo shoots and a visit to a New York fire department training facility. The fourth-year driver from Las Vegas, Nev., will cap his Champion’s Week schedule with Friday evening’s awards ceremony in the Waldorf’s historic Grand Ballroom.
En route, Busch will engage in some traditional NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion activities:
Friday afternoon’s traditional team photo in front of the Waldorf’s main entrance is one such tradition.
Another is Thursday morning’s photo opportunity in Times Square with the champion’s show car at 8:30am/et.
Following that activity, Busch will join NASCAR Chairman Brian France and Nextel’s Tim Donahue to open NASDAQ at 9:15am/et
Another highlight: On Friday, a group photo of Busch, NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton along with NASCAR’s weekly and touring champions will be taken at 11:30am/et, at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum at Pier 86. All 11 champions will be pictured together against one of Manhattan’s landmark vistas.
What’s on tap tomorrow [Monday, Nov 29th] for the champion … Kurt Busch kicks off the 2004 Champion’s Week with a Sunday-evening welcome dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria. Early Monday morning, he’ll make marquee appearances first on The Today Show, then on Live with Regis and Kelly [check local listings]
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Top 10 joins celebration … While this week’s focus shines brightest on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion, drivers who finished second- through 10th-place also are honored. Certainly they can savor a bit of history; second-place Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevrolet), third-place Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe’s Chevrolet), fourth-place Mark Martin (#6 Viagra Ford), fifth-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#8 Budweiser Chevrolet), sixth-place Tony Stewart (#20 The Home Depot Chevrolet), seventh-place Ryan Newman (#12 ALLTEL Dodge), eighth-place Matt Kenseth, ninth-place Elliott Sadler (#38 M&Ms Ford) and 10th-place Jeremy Mayfield (#19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) are the participants in the inaugural “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup,” and they’ll each take their turn on the stage during Friday evening’s awards ceremony.
But prior to Friday, the Top 10 will be joined on Thursday by 11th-place driver Jamie McMurray (#42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) and Raybestos Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne (#9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) for the traditional Champion’s Week press conference.
What: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony
Where: Grand Ballroom, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City.
When: 7-10:30pm/et (ET). Friday, Dec. 3.
TV: TNT, 9:00pm/et [recap on NBC, Sunday, Dec 5th at 2:00pm/et]
Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: 1. Kurt Busch 6,506. 2. Jimmie Johnson 6,498. 3. Jeff Gordon 6,490. 4. Mark Martin 6,399. 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6,368. 6. Tony Stewart 6,326. 7. Ryan Newman 6,180. 8. Matt Kenseth 6,069. 9. Elliott Sadler 6,024. 10. Jeremy Mayfield 6,000.
11th-place driver: Jamie McMurray.
Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year: Kasey Kahne.
Special Guest: Comedian Jay Mohr, host of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”
Musical Entertainment: Scott Stapp, former lead singer of Creed, and R&B vocalist Brian McKnight.(NASCAR PR)
and see more at NASCAR.com, showcars in NYC and more.(11-28-2004)
- posted 11-30-2004
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP CHAMPION'S WEEK - DAY 1
It’s one day down and four to go, but for Kurt Busch (#97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Ford), a full New York itinerary means nothing but good things. “You haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face,” Busch said, referring to one of the busiest periods of his young career – NASCAR’s traditional Champion’s Week in New York. As the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion, Busch is embarking on an extensive array of media, public and commemorative appearances this week. He began Monday with two national morning show guest spots and will rev up his schedule with more activities each day. Here in the Big Apple, Busch said he was particularly excited to see the early crowd appeal of his sponsors’ show cars – the Sharpie car parked at NASCAR’s New York office on Park Avenue, and the IRWIN Tools car that was positioned at Rockefeller Center on Monday morning. “Every car is drawing attention,” Busch said, “and to see all the people, that’s special.”
Busch’s first Monday appearance was on The Today Show, where he helped kick off the show’s annual Toys for Tots campaign by collecting items from viewers gathered around the Rockefeller Center Plaza. Clad in dark clothing and a black and yellow NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion’s jacket, Busch plopped a red and white Santa’s hat on his head, then set off on his rounds with a big fabric bag. The toy of choice? “Lots of big bears,” Busch said, noting the many teddy bears that viewers plunked in his bag. Following his toy-collecting duties, Busch participated in an interview with co-host Matt Lauer; his blue and yellow IRWIN Tools show car sat in the background.
From Rockefeller Center, it was off to another part of Manhattan and an appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly. As hosts Regis Philbin’s and Kelly Ripa’s first Monday guest, Busch chatted about the title-clenching season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his feelings about winning his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title and a couple of fun, offbeat topics. “It was great to see the knowledge from the hosts,” Busch said of Lauer, Philbin and Ripa, and their line of questioning. “It was cool to see their knowledge of the sport.”
While on Live with Regis and Kelly, both hosts mentioned the guest appearance by the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Top 10 on Sept. 16. Part of a New York media tour to kick off the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup,” the new method of crowning the series champion, the appearance featured the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Top 10 in a fashion show previewing fall fashion. On Monday, the show replayed the clip of Busch modeling a striped sweater, jeans and suspenders, and he, Philbin and Ripa enjoyed an on-air laugh at the memory. "That was great for all 10 of us, and then to close the loop with me coming back was great,” Busch said.
What’s on tap tomorrow for the champion … It’s a busy Tuesday for Kurt Busch, who’ll begin his morning with an appearance on FOX and Friends. Here’s the rest of his Tuesday schedule:
• After FOX and Friends, Busch will visit the Fire Department New York Fire Academy on Randal’s Island in Manhattan. And it won’t be a sedentary visit; Busch will join some current FDNY recruits on a few training exercises at the Academy, plus he’ll spend time with FDNY personnel at the training site.
• Later in the afternoon, Busch will tape a segment for Tuesday’s edition of the Best Damn Sports Show Period.
• On Tuesday evening, he’ll visit the Museum of Television and Radio on West 52nd St., where he’ll be the featured guest on MRN’s Champion’s Show; he’ll be the Champion’s Show guest from 7-8 p.m.
• Busch will round out his evening with a dinner with Nextel executives.
- Donald Trump to give “Gentlemen Start Your Engines” command as cars roar down Broadway
NASCAR fans will see the top NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers roar down Broadway for an unprecedented “Victory Lap” commemorating the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, on Dec. 2. The 10 drivers who competed in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup will make the Great White Way the sport’s newest road course for a day, as part of the annual NASCAR Champion’s Week celebration held in New York.
The loud and unforgettable Victory Lap starts at 9:45 a.m., when the 10 contenders in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup will strap into their machines outside the NASDAQ in Times Square. Donald J. Trump, chairman, president and CEO of the Trump Organization, will then say the most famous words in racing – “Gentlemen Start Your Engines” – and wave the Green Flag. The race cars will roar down Broadway, turn left on 42nd Street and finally take a “checkered flag” at NASCAR’s New York office on 52nd Street and Park Avenue.
The 10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers – Kurt Busch (the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion), Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart – will be chaperoned by the two Chevrolet pace vehicles and the NYPD.
“New York is big, NASCAR is big, and this is going to be a big happening,” Trump said. “People in this city are used to seeing some interesting things. I can guarantee that the sight and sound of 10 NASCAR stock cars revving 800 horsepower on the most famous street in the world is going to be unforgettable.”
“New York City is proud to host NASCAR's Champion’s Week," said New York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth Podziba. "We are pleased to partner with NASCAR as the sport continues to build its fan base in the five boroughs and the industry celebrates another successful season at its culminating event – the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria."
Tim Donahue, president and chief executive officer of Nextel, the title sponsor of racing’s premier series, will open the NASDAQ trading market on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004. Donahue will be joined by George Pyne, chief operating officer of NASCAR, and the top 10 drivers of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
Prior to opening NASDAQ, Busch, along with crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, NASCAR officials and Nextel executives, will participate in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series’ annual Times Square photo shoot. A representative from Mayor Bloomberg’s office will read a proclamation recognizing Friday, Dec. 3 as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Day in New York City. Additionally, a representative of the Governor of New York, George Pataki, will proclaim Friday, Dec. 3 as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Day in the Empire State.
In addition to the Victory Lap, NASCAR and Nextel have planned a range of advertising, promotional and marketing activities for Champion’s Week (Nov. 28 – Dec. 3):
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series NYC Pit Stop Tour Collect and Win Sweepstakes Game: NASCAR fans will be encouraged to visit race cars for sponsors Best Western, Budweiser, Dodge, Kodak, M&Ms, Maxwell House, The Home Depot, and Unilever stationed at high-traffic areas including the Army Recruiting Station in Times Square, The Plaza Hotel, Madison Square Garden, Bryant Park, Union Square, Madison Square Park, Intrepid Sea Air Museum and the NASCAR office on Park Avenue. New Yorkers who visit the show cars will get NASCAR-related giveaways and collect rubber stamps for chance to win free NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series cell phones, a trip to the Richard Petty Driving Experience or the grand prize trip to the Feb. 20, 2005 Daytona 500. The “Pit Stop Tour Collect and Win Sweepstakes” will be promoted by the New York Daily News.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Chase Contenders’ Autograph Session and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Trophy Photos: Several of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 drivers will appear in an autograph-signing at the NBC Experience Store at 30 Rockefeller Center on Thursday, Dec. 2, from 2:30-4:30. The 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Trophy, produced by Tiffany and Co., will also be available for photo opportunities.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion’s Week Awards Ceremony Press Luncheon: A special media luncheon for the Top 10 Chase Contenders will take place on Thursday, December 2 at Cipriani Restaurant on 42nd Street at Grand Central Station.
Nextel Mobile Marketing: Nextel will place a mobile marketing unit and simulator at the Intrepid Sea Air Museum on December 3. Other locations will be determined shortly. Nextel will have extensive signage throughout the city during Champion’s Week. The company’s signature black and yellow colors will wrap 10 airport shuttles, 25 taxi tops, 25 phone kiosks surrounding the Waldorf-Astoria, 30 street vendor carts and 250,000 coffee cups throughout the city. The Waldorf-Astoria, traditionally clad in red and gold, will have a heavy Nextel presence through its key cards, newspaper bags, door hangers and city maps bearing vibrant yellow-and-black NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series logos.
Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel: Since 1981, NASCAR has honored the season’s champion in New York. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Ceremony from the Waldorf-Astoria will be broadcast live on TNT on Friday, Dec. 3 from 9 p.m. to 12am/et. The 2004 NASCAR awards show will feature top entertainers and musical entertainment, a result of NASCAR Digital Entertainment’s efforts establishing a presence and communicating value within the entertainment industry. Viewers of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 3, will enjoy the comedy of Jay Mohr and musical performances by former front man of the multi-platinum rock band Creed Scott Stapp and Brian McKnight. Collective Soul and ‘Last Comic Standing’ alumnus Gary Gulman will appear during the NASCAR Busch Series Awards Ceremony.
Other events occurring during Champion’s Week include the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Challenge between Busch and the Fire Department of New York and a visit with the Ronald McDonald House.
Additionally, Nextel will play host to an A-list of celebrities and the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers at a special Champion’s Celebration at the premier New York night club, Marquee, on Thursday, Dec. 2.
The Victory Lap Route
Start: NASDAQ building – Times Square
• Travel south on Broadway, turn left on 42nd Street.
• East on 42nd to Madison Avenue.
• Left on Madison and travel north until 46th Street.
• Right turn on 46th Street to Park Avenue.
• Left on Park to NASCAR’s New York Office at 52nd Street and Park Avenue.
- posted 12-1-2004
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP CHAMPION'S WEEK - DAY 2
Tuesday brought another national morning-show appearance for Kurt Busch (#97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Ford), the first stop on his second full day of Champion’s Week activities in New York City.
As the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion, Busch joined FOX and Friends hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy in an outdoor area of FOX’s New York facility. Backed by his blue and gold IRWIN Tools show car, Busch chatted with Kilmeade and Doocy on what it took to win his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title, and the feelings and celebration of that achievement.
From FOX and Friends, it was off to a commemorative photo shoot; Busch had his picture taken on venerable Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan skyline behind him. His next stop was a quieter locale, and one laced with contemplation. Busch paused at Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 memorial, for a few moments’ repose.
His next stop was a natural extension of the Ground Zero stop – an upbeat visit with recruits at the FDNY Fire Academy on Manhattan’s Randall’s Island. But it wasn’t a leisurely occasion. Accompanied by NASCAR.com’s Marty Smith, Busch donned full firefighting attire and embarked on a timed training exercise with FDNY recruits. Among the tasks: Uncoiling and pulling a fire hose around a corner, pushing up a fire ladder, driving a sledgehammer against a hydraulic pad. Then came the finale – dragging a 175-pound dummy the length of a 35-foot area, around a cone, and back to the starting point.
“I thought it was going to be cake until we came to that 175-pound dummy,” Busch said. “My lap time was going great until I got to that point.”
Actually, his lap time was very respectable. Busch completed the entire training exercise in 1:53. Smith’s time was 1:46. The FDNY recruits averaged 1:18.
After all the physical activity, Busch spent some quality time with the FDNY recruits. He also donated Nextel-logo-ed firefighting hats to the recruits who competed against him in the training exercise, while one of his sponsors, IRWIN Tools, donated equipment – vise grips, tool boxes – to the FDNY Fire Academy.
“The recruits were a nice, competitive blend of personalities,” Busch said. “The ones who were in uniform were very polite and nice, and the guys who were in the training exercise were telling me how they were going to kick my butt.”
A few hours’ break was a welcome tonic, then Busch again hit the streets of Manhattan, stopping first at Time-Life, Inc., to visit with editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine, then to tape a segment for Tuesday’s Late Show with David Letterman.
Next up: Another taping segment, this time for the Best Damn Sports Show Period. Busch was scheduled to end his day with an appearance on MRN’s Champion’s Show from the Museum of Television and Radio, then a dinner with Nextel executives. A special perk: Busch and his girlfriend, Eva Bryan, also were planning to be at the traditional Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center.
What’s on tap tomorrow for the champion … On Wednesday, Kurt Busch will begin his day with a visit to the CIBC Trading Floor. There, he’ll participate in the March of Dimes’ Miracle Day event. It’s sponsored by CIBC World Markets, and raises money for many children’s charities. Commissions and fees from transactions made that day by other institutions go to charity. Here’s the rest of Busch’s Wednesday schedule:
• After his Miracle Day appearance, Busch will attend a luncheon for regional and business print media at the 21 Club. He’ll visit with New York City press, as well as other northeastern journalists, over lunch at one of the city’s historic dining venues.
• Later in the afternoon, Busch will participate in several satellite media tours for national and regional television outlets.
• Busch will end his Wednesday schedule with a media reception and dinner at The View restaurant at the New York Marriott Marquis.
NASCAR.com follows in Busch footsteps … NASCAR.com’s Marty Smith has a unique assignment this week. He’s trailing Kurt Busch on his daily schedule of appearances and even participating on a few occasions, as he did during Tuesday’s visit to FDNY Fire Academy. Smith is documenting Champion’s Week – and Busch’s experience as the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion – on a daily basis.(12-1-2004)
- posted 12-2-2004
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP CHAMPION'S WEEK - DAY 3
On a rainy, windy Wednesday in New York City, Kurt Busch (#97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Ford) got a bird’s-eye view of one of Manhattan’s traditional industries. His third day as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion began with a visit to the Canadian International Bank of Commerce trading floor. And the occasion was all for a good cause: CIBC, an international investment bank, was hosting its annual Miracle Day fundraiser for children’s charities – including the March of Dimes. The CIBC donates the day’s trading fees to charities – and Busch was one of many celebrities whose visit drew attention to CIBC’s charitable efforts.
Amid the keyboard-clacking and traders’ shouts, Busch roamed the floor and visited with CIBC staff members, signing autographs and posing for photos. The CIBC has hosted Miracle Day since 1984 and has raised over $100 million to date. “That was mind-boggling to see all those computers and that many people yelling at each other,” Busch said, “but yet all working together for a common goal of charity.”
Busch also met two celebrities who appeared at CIBC at the same time: Miss USA, Shandi Sinnessey, and actor Michael Imperioli, who portrays Christopher Moltisanti on HBO’s “The Sopranos.” “Had a chance to hug her and take a picture,” Busch said of Miss USA.
Still battling wind and rain, Busch traded the hustle and bustle of CIBC for the warmth and tradition of the 21 Club, one of New York’s historic restaurants. There, he met with regional and business media, taking time for sit-down discussions along with team owner Jack Roush. Later, both Roush and Busch enjoyed a luncheon with media attendees.
After the 21 Club event – and after the sun had broken over the top of Manhattan’s skyscrapers – Busch spent much of his afternoon doing satellite media interviews with national television outlets as well as local affiliates. Later Wednesday evening, Busch would attend a media reception and dinner with NASCAR and Nextel executives. Also squeezed into Wednesday’s schedule: Two opportunities to practice his speech for Friday’s Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Gracious with his time, Busch acknowledged the importance of Wednesday’s activities. “Today has been one of those cool media days where you get to talk to different media that you don’t normally get a chance to talk to,” Busch said.
What’s on tap tomorrow [Dec 2nd] for the champion … Thursday will be the busiest day yet for Busch, who’ll be up early for the traditional champion’s photo shoot in Times Square. At 8:30am/et, he’ll have his photo taken with a show car against the pedestrian-busy, neon-filled expanse of Times Square. Here’s the rest of Busch’s Thursday schedule:
After the Times Square photo shoot, Busch – along with Nextel CEO Tim Donahue and NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne – will open the day’s trading activity at NASDAQ (approximately 9:15am/et).
At 10 a.m., ET, Busch will lead the rest of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 in a Victory Lap procession from NASDAQ’s Times Square location to NASCAR’s New York office on Park Ave. The drivers will strap into their show cars and wait for Donald Trump, Chairman, President and CEO of the Trump Organization, to say, “Gentlemen, start your engines!”
Following the Victory Lap, Busch will participate in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup media luncheon. He’ll be joined by the rest of the Top 10 drivers, along with the 11th-place driver, Jamie McMurray (#42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge), Raybestos Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne (#9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge), NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton and all of NASCAR’s weekly and touring series champions.
Busch’s mid-afternoon schedule will include a 3pm/et photo opportunity in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and a 3:30pm/et autograph signing at the NBC Experience at Rockefeller Center.
Later Thursday afternoon, Busch and Top 10 drivers Matt Kenseth (#17 DeWalt Tools Ford), Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevrolet), Mark Martin (#6 Viagra Ford), Tony Stewart (#20 The Home Depot Chevrolet), Ryan Newman (#12 ALLTEL Dodge) and Elliott Sadler (#38 M&Ms Ford) will visit New York City’s Ronald McDonald House at 5pm/et, meeting with children undergoing cancer therapy who are staying there, and their families.
At 7:15 p.m. Busch will visit with NASCAR’s touring and weekly series champions at their celebration dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. Busch will end his day at a Nextel party at the Marriott Marquis.(NASCAR PR)(12-2-2004)
- posted 12-2-2004
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP CHAMPION'S WEEK - DAY 4
Nothing says New York City like the hustle, bustle and color of Times Square, and on Tuesday, NASCAR introduced the roar of stock-car engines to Broadway. Kicking off Thursday’s very busy schedule, 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Kurt Busch (#97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Ford) began his morning with a traditional photo session at Times Square’s Military Island. Backed by his IRWIN Tools show car, he and crew chief Jimmy Fennig were joined by team owner Jack Roush for a shot against the Times Square milieu. He also received proclamations for NASCAR Day in New York from the offices of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Gov. George Pataki.
Next, Busch and other Top 10 drivers Matt Kenseth (#17 DeWalt Tools Ford), Mark Martin (#6 Viagra Ford), Tony Stewart (#20 The Home Depot Chevrolet), Ryan Newman (#12 ALLTEL Dodge) and Elliott Sadler (#38 M&Ms Ford) joined NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne, Nextel CEO Tim Donahue, New York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth Podziba and President and CEO of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump to open the trading day at NASDAQ.
The group then moved outside to Broadway, where Busch and the other Top 10 drivers climbed into their show cars – Busch into his Sharpie show car – and awaited a very familiar command. This time, the words, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” came from Trump, a New York icon, and the show-car procession, led by a pace car, roared away from the curb for a quick cross-town drive to NASCAR’s New York office on Park Ave.
Once there, Busch and the Top 10 drivers visited with employees before heading several blocks south to Cipriani, the restaurant site of the traditional Thursday press conference. Along with Busch, Top 10 drivers and NASCAR and Nextel executives, other participants included NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton and NASCAR’s weekly and touring series champions.
And Busch wasn’t done: Still to come were a special photo with girlfriend Eva Bryan in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, an autograph session at the nearby NBC Experience at Rockefeller Center and a special visit to New York’s Ronald McDonald House to visit with children undergoing cancer therapy who are staying there, and their families.
What’s on tap tomorrow for the champion …
Friday is the big day for Kurt Busch, who will begin it with a special breakfast and end it as the newly-crowned 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion. In between, he’ll pose for myriad photos. His first stop will be the Myers Brothers Breakfast, the traditional Friday-morning gathering that honors annual contingency award winners; breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. ET at the Waldorf=Astoria’s historic Starlight Roof. Here’s the rest of Busch’s Friday schedule:
At 11 a.m. ET, Busch will join NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton and all of NASCAR’s weekly and touring series champions for a group photo at the Intrepid Sea-Air Space Museum at Manhattan’s Pier 86. The champions will be photographed against the city skyline.
Later Friday morning, Busch will participate in a rehearsal for the evening’s award ceremony.
At 3:45 p.m., attired in tuxedos, Busch, Jimmy Fennig, Jack Roush and the #97 team will be photographed with their show car and a Nextel show car at the Waldorf=Astoria’s Park Ave. entrance. Following the show-car photos, Busch will participate in indoor photo sessions with Nextel executives and family and team members.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. ET, Busch will receive a traditional small gold replica of his #97 car from Goodyear. He’ll attend the France family reception from 6-6:30 p.m., then make his red-carpet arrival – actually a black, gold-trimmed carpet in honor of Nextel – in the Silver Corridor outside the Waldorf=Astoria’s Grand Ballroom.
The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series awards ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and will end at approximately 11 p.m. Busch will end his day – and celebrate his title – at the traditional champion’s party, which begins 30 minutes following the end of the awards ceremony.(NASCAR PR)(12-2-2004)
- posted 12-3-2004
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP CHAMPION'S WEEK - DAY 5
Giving back is a Petty family theme, but on Friday, Kyle Petty (#45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge) and his wife Pattie got a little something in return. That little “something” carries a lot of prestige. During the Myers Brothers Breakfast at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, Kyle and Pattie received the 45th annual Myers Brothers Award for their Victory Junction Gang Camp – a recreational retreat for children with life-threatening illness in Randleman, N.C. A labor of love that honors the Pettys’ late son Adam, the camp opened this summer. Voted upon by National Motorsports Press Association members, the Myers Brothers Award honors outstanding contributions to the sport of stock-car racing. The Myers Brothers Breakfast, hosted by the NMPA and Sunoco, is the first stop of the day on Friday during Champion’s Week. The early-morning gathering also is where NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season-ending contingency award winners are honored.
Later Friday evening, 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Kurt Busch (#97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Ford) will be formally crowned during the annual awards ceremony in the Waldorf=Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. But earlier in the day, on the Waldorf’s historic 18th-floor Starlight Roof, the Pettys were honored for their ceaseless efforts to offer fun and recreation to seriously-ill children. “There’s no way, I think, that we could have brought in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that we have without the help of everyone in this room,” said Pattie Petty, who accepted the Myers Brothers Award.
The morning’s most poignant moment came when Diane Dorton accepted the Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award for her late husband, Randy Dorton, one of 10 Hendrick Motorsports employees killed in an Oct. 24 team plane crash; Dorton oversaw Hendrick Motorsports’ engine department. “Randy probably would be the first to say that he shouldn’t be up here accepting this award,” said Diane Dorton, who also accepted a $77,000 check on behalf of HMS engine-builders. “He would want all 105 of his specialists to do that.”
Leading off the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver honorees was Ryan Newman (#12 ALLTEL Dodge), who received his third consecutive Bud Pole Award ($100,000). “I really look forward to the new year and making it four-in-a-row in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series,” Newman said.
Also recognized was Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#8 Budweiser Chevrolet), who won his second consecutive Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award. Earnhardt Jr. joked that “I’ve been trying to make this a lunch for two years in a row, now.” He also won $100,000 for the Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Year Award. Other Myers Brothers Breakfast award winners include:
• Tony Stewart (#20 The Home Depot Chevrolet) won $85,000 for the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award. He also won the USG Driver of the Year Award, which allocates $50,000 to the winner and $50,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice; Stewart immediately announced he would donate his portion of the award to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
• Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevrolet) was the third driver to win two awards Friday. He won $75,000 for the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award and $75,000 for the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award. Gordon, who was unable to attend Friday’s breakfast, was represented by his crew chief, Robbie Loomis.
• The 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion, Kurt Busch, won $75,000 for the Sunoco Diamond Performance Award.
• Busch’s Roush Racing teammate, the 2003 series champion Matt Kenseth (#17 DEWALT Tools Ford), won $75,000 for the Waste Management Picking up Places Award.
• Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) won $75,000 for the Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Favorite Driver of the Year Award. Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, accepted $75,000 and the Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Award, an honor voted upon by other NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series pit crews.
• Stewart’s #20 team won $200,000 for the McDonald’s/POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Championship Award. The team’s pit-crew coach, Paul Alepa, accepted the award.
NASCAR champions pose for commemorative photo … Following the Myers Brothers Breakfast, Kurt Busch joined NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton, NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series champion Greg Pursley, Busch North Series champion Andy Santerre, West Series champion Mike Duncan, Midwest Series champion Justin Diercks, Northwest Series champion Jeff Jefferson, Southeast Series champion Jeff Fultz, Southwest Series champion Jim Pettit II and Featherlite Modified Series champion Tony Hirschman for a special photo at New York's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The once-a-year gathering of current NASCAR champions took place aboard the former U.S.S. Intrepid, with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.(NASCAR PR)(12-3-2004)
- Gordon may miss Banquet? cancels trip to France UPDATEs Mears in for Gordon, Gordon shows to give speach: A severe case of the flu put four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon in the hospital for an overnight stay and forced him to cancel a trip to France for an all-star race. Gordon became dehydrated and spent Wednesday night receiving intravenous fluids. He was released from the hospital Thursday but still was ailing, spokesman Jon Edwards said. Edwards said Robbie Loomis, the crew chief on Gordon's #24 Nextel Cup car, flew to New York to fill in for the driver at a breakfast Friday morning. Gordon hoped to be well enough attend to the NASCAR awards ceremony Friday night. Four-time champion Gordon had been scheduled to leave following the NASCAR function and travel with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson to Paris to represent the United States on Saturday in the Race of Champions Nations Cup, an event matching drivers from all over the world. Officials were undecided Thursday on a replacement for Gordon.(Yahoo Sports/AP)(12-3-2004)
UPDATE: hearing that Casey Mears will go to France and sub for Gordon.(12-3-2004)
UPDATE 2: Mears, driver of the #41 Target Dodges owned by Chip Ganassi, was signed up Friday as the last-minute replacement for Jeff Gordon to travel to Paris overnight after the Nextel Cup awards ceremony and join Jimmie Johnson in the Race of Champions event in the French capital. Gordon could not go to Paris after being hospitalized in New York this week for dehydration stemming from flu-like symptoms. Instead, it will be Mears racing against the likes of Michael Schumacher.(ThatsRacin.com)
UPDATE 3: Gordon did show at the banquet and spoke and seemed better and spoke well.(12-3-2004)