Jayski pays as Robby runs more and more miles!: Once again Jayski will do the "Jayski Robby Gordon Double Charity Challenge", as I have done in the past when Robby Gordon [and Tony Stewart] do the Indianapolis 500 / Coca Cola 600 doubles, I will donate a $1.00 for every mile [not lap] Robby Gordon completes in each race [a total possible 1100], adding a bonus for a win: $500 for either [$1,500 if he wins both], $250 for second in either [$750 for both], and $100 for a 3rd in either race. Also, new twist this year, and extra $1.00 for each lap led.
(if Gordon fails to complete at least 500 laps, I will donate a minimum of $500)
So where does this money go?
AND: In honor of Jayski’s charity double every year, I [Todd Berger of Teamracin.com] have an idea for my own version of the double, and this is one everyone can do. In honor of Robby Gordon running both (the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600) Sunday, I will donate two cents per mile completed, ten dollars if he wins either race or twenty dollars for both races as well as a ten-dollar double winner’s bonus. The most I will donate based on this format is $52. The minimum donated will be $20. For more, see TeamRacin.com.(5-26-2004) the Total well....not what I [nor Robby I am sure] was looking for, but the totals were:
Indy: Robby Gordon / Jaques Lazier, 88 laps x 2.5 miles = $220
Coca-Cola 600: Robby Gordon, 397 laps x 1.5 miles = $595.50 Total to be donated to the VJGC Jayski Computer Lab will be $815.50.
Johnson wins Coca-Cola 600...again: #48-Jimmie Johnson scored his 2nd stright Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in dominatining fashion, leading 334 of 400 laps [Johnson missed tying the record for the most laps led by 1, Jim Paschal holds the record of 335 done on May 28, 1967. It is Johnson's 2nd win of 2004 and eighth of his 87 race career. Johnson is the first driver in 2004 to win from the pole. It is Johnson's sixth straight top-10 finish.
The rest of the top five were: #15-Waltrip [$5 off Domino's Pizza all day Monday], #17-Kenseth, #42-McMurray and #38-Sadler. Of note: #38-Sadler ran the whole race with the flu...and finished 5th, rookie #25-Brian Vickers suffered Stomach Cramps the 2nd half of the race but soldiered home to a 15th place finish. The race was red flagged for 5:27 for oil on the track, leading to a three lap shootout, which ended a 1/2 lap early when #9-Kahne bottomed out and tapped #18-Labonte who smacked the wall.
And see a column at ThatsRacin.com.
Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - Lowe's Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson led early, led often, and pretty much blew away the field in tonight's 600 miler. He led 8 times for 334 laps (that's 500 miles) and seemed to be able to run away at will. We ran the first 240 miles caution- free, and that (combined with that #48 Chevy) put a lot of cars laps down early. We were actually fortunate to have 13 cars on the lead lap by race's end. Quite a show for Lowe's.....don't know what they're paying, but they sure got their money's worth this weekend. Two poles, two wins, and a couple million mentions in every media known to mankind! For a while it looked like we may finish before Indy did (and when you figure they had almost a 6 hour head start that would be something).
For Jimmie Johnson, this was win #8 (he's now tied with Kyle Petty for 54th on the all-time win list), his second of the season (he won at Darlington in March) and his second Coke 600 in a row. This was win #121 for Hendrick Motorsports, with 10 of those coming at this speedway (7 in this race alone!). Johnson becomes the 8th winner of this race to do it from the pole (the last was teammate Jeff Gordon in
1998), and his take of the over $6.2M in posted awards was a smooth $426,350.
Michael Waltrip (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Talladega last October. His Top-5 marks the 19th different driver to score a Top-5
finish this season....last years number was 30!
Jamie McMurray (4th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Las Vegas in March.
Casey Mears (7th) tied his career-best finish today. He's been 7th two other times in his career (both this season)....Vegas in March and
Texas in April.
Jeremy Mayfield (8th) had his best finish since he was the runner-up at Atlanta in March.
STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 6 Top-10's in a row.
Dale Earnhardt Jr has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
Matt Kenseth has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Matt Kenseth (+34) is the Operator of the Race for the 5th time this season! He was followed by Kurt Busch (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Ryan Newman (-33), followed by Jeff Gordon (-27), Brendan Gaughan (-26), and Kevin Lepage (-21). In just 12 races this season, Kenseth has now matched his winning total from last year (5). We're headed for a record.
We pushed another two drivers below the "Stayin Alive" line tonight...it's down to twelve now [under 400 points]. Michael Waltrip (30th to 24th) made the best move forward in the Top-30 tonight, while Johnny Sauter (24th to 30th) fell the most spots.(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(5-30-2004)
To the Back: #77-Brendan Gaughan [back up car/happy hour wreck], #0-Ward Burton [engine change] and #40-Sterling Marlin [confirmed - engine change] will have to fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. AND #31-Robby Gordon [missed drivers meeting], #22-Scott Wimmer [engine change](5-30-2004)
Robby Gordon UPDATEs: Indy Racing League race winner Jaques Lazier will spot for Robby Gordon in Sunday's 88th Indianapolis 500 and be available to drive Gordon's Meijer/Coca-Cola Dallara-Chevrolet should Gordon need to leave before the end of the 500 to fulfill his commitment to drive the Cingular Wireless Chevy for Richard Childress Racing in Sunday evening's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.(Team Gordon PR) AND Clint Boyer is standing by for Gordon at Lowe's Motor Speedway - even though Boyer has never been in a Cup car, NASCAR officials still approved him for competition in the 600.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-30-2004) UPDATE from LMS as of 12:50pm/et: 1:30pm/et is the estimated start time for the Indy 500. Gordon is starting the race, but must be on his way to North Carolina by 4:00pm/et to make the start of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. If he is unable to finish the Indy 500 before 4:00pm/et, Jaques Lazier will driver Gordon's Meijer/Coca-Cola Dallar-Chevy to complete the 88th running running of the Indy 500.(LMS PR) UPDATE from Team Gordon: Robby Gordon left the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday on Tony George's helicopter at approximately 3:06pm/et to take a Citation X jet to Concord, N.C. for Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Cup event. Gordon passed eight cars on the first lap of Sunday's Indy 500, advancing from his 18th starting position to 10th in the Meijer/Coca-Cola Dallara-Chevrolet. Gordon lost one spot on lap two and fell to 16th place after his first pit stop and was in that spot when the red flag waved after 27 laps [of 250]. Gordon's pit stop was delayed when he was held in the pit stall after refueling and change of Firestone Firehawk tires in order to avoid a potential collision with another car coming down pit road.
Gordon plans to drive the #31-Cingular Wireless Chevy for Richard Childress Racing Sunday night at Charlotte and then return to Indianapolis in anticipation of the race resuming Monday. Jaques Lazier, Gordon's designated relief driver, started Sunday spotting for Gordon in turn one, and then was in the pits with his Meijer uniform (actually, one of Robby's extras) on at the time of the red flag. If Lazier gets in the car, he would be the first in-race relief driver since 1977, when Larry Cannon replaced John Mahler.
Robby Gordon quotes: On passing eight cars on the first lap: "That was pretty cool. Actually, I think it was more like 10 cars, but I had to give up a couple of spots because I had to check-up (get out of the throttle) to avoid a couple of other cars. That was our plan, to try to gain spots on the first lap, so I'm pretty pumped about that." On how his Meijer/Coca-Cola Dallara-Chevy is running: "I think we're OK.
We were a little tight and made a change (front-wing adjustment) on the pit stop. I know we were faster than several of the cars ahead of
On the rain delay: "I guess I'm the only person in Indianapolis who was hoping for rain, and is glad it did rain. No disrespect to the Indy 500 fans, but with the late (delayed) start today, that's what we needed. I love the Indy 500 and that's why I'm racing here in the Meijer car. We said all along that the first priority was racing the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet for Richard Childress in the Coca-Cola 600 and so there was never any question this morning that I would have to leave and was ready to get out of the Meijer car, during the race, if that was what had to happen. That's definitely not what I wanted to do, but it was the situation we faced. Jaques (Lazier) was spotting for me in turn one and then he came down to the pits and had his uniform on and was ready when the race was stopped. I hope all the fans understand my situation and the plan is I'll be back here in Indianapolis Tuesday morning for the restart."(PR) AND: NASCAR.com has updates on Gordon at: Blog: Robby Gordon's double duty attempt, with updates during the day.(5-30-2004)
Buddy Rice wins the rain-shortened Indy 500: Buddy Rice kept one eye on the fuel gauge, one on the darkening sky and his foot on the pedal and won a rain-soaked Indianapolis 500 Sunday. With storm clouds closing fast, the 28-year-old Rice grabbed the lead for good in a final flurry of pit stops and took his first career victory under a yellow caution flag as the rain that first delayed the race and then interrupted it for almost two hours finally ended it 50 miles short of the scheduled finish. "This is unbelievable," said Rice, who got his ride with Rahal Letterman Racing this season only because 1999 Indy winner Kenny Brack was out with injuries. Michael Andretti, scion of Indy's most famous hard-luck family, suffered the same also-ran fate in his second year as a team owner as he had in 14 years behind the wheel: ever so close, but not first. Three of his drivers - Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon and Bryan Herta - finished second, third and fourth. "It's indescribable," said television talk-show host David Letterman, who co-owns the team with 1986 Indy winner Bobby Rahal. "I don't think the rain made any difference. We could have gone the full 200 laps. My God! What a job Buddy did. It's a thrill to be a part of this."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(5-30-2004)
The 'Double' May Be Impossible in the Future: Today could be the last time any driver competes in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day if the Indy 500's starting time is changed. ABC, Indy Racing League and speedway officials are considering moving the starting time of the Indy 500 back, beginning next year. Tradition dictates that the race start at noon, but that's 9:00am on the West Coast and makes it hard to attract a larger audience. Pushing the Indianapolis 500's starting time back an hour most likely would prevent any driver from running both races because they wouldn't be able to get to Lowe's Motor Speedway in time for the start of the 600. Since John Andretti first accomplished the feat in 1994, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon have done it. Gordon is attempting it today for a third consecutive year. Stewart last ran both races in 2001.(Roanoke Times)(5-30-2004)
Loomis with his Mom - Get Well UPDATE 2: Robbie Loomis, #24-Jeff Gordon's crew chief, wasn't at Lowe's Motor Speedway Thursday. Instead, he was in Florida to be with his ailing mother, Sally Loomis. Team manager Brian Whitesell is handling the crew chief duties in Loomis' absence.(Speed Channel's Qualifying Coverage)(5-28-2004) UPDATE: Robbie Loomis, crew chief for Gordon, will return to the track today after missing Thursday's qualifying session to attend to his ailing mother in Florida.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-29-2004) UPDATE 2: Robbie Loomis, crew chief for Jeff Gordon, was back at Lowe's Motor Speedway Saturday. He missed qualifying Friday to be in Daytona Beach, Fla., with his 67-year-old mother Sally, who is suffering from complications of a pancreas disorder. "She's also had several blood clots and experienced some other problems, too," Loomis said. "She's doing better, but she's got a long road to go. It's going to be tough."(Charleston Post and Courier) and see a good article at the Daytona Beach News Journal: Chief's head in race, heart in Daytona(5-30-2004)
Sad News: The #24 Hendrick Motorsports team learned Saturday morning that the father of crewman Jeff Mandeering died of a heart attack Friday night in China Grove, NC, where he owned a hardware store.(Charleston Post and Courier)(5-30-2004)
Engine Stuff: Garage sources told TFR [Team Ford Racing] that NASCAR is advising the teams and the manufacturers, to start thinking about next generation motors and that they should get concepts ready for discussion sometime in the future. The message was delivered that NASCAR is looking to go to a “small box” (tight tolerance) motor, but no specifics as to what the sanctioning body might be seeking were advanced during the initial conversations. Apparently everything is in play. Even displacement seems to a “work in progress,” according to one Detroit engine designer. This engine builder went on to suggest that now might be the time to tone down the motor’s capability. But that’s a discussion that will spark debate as some engine men, including as Yates, like a smaller cubic inch displacement configuration as an option/ Meanwhile, others believe a smaller carburetor, maybe fuel injection, is a better way to go. These talks look to be very preliminary in nature, with the timing of any changes being a couple of years off, possibly to coincide with Toyota’s expected appearance in the Cup Series in 2007.(Team Ford Racing)(5-30-2004)
No. 49 Taking Over Lowe's Motor Speedway: The number 49 will be pretty important for Ken Schrader, driver of the Schwan's Home Service Dodge on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit, this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Schrader celebrates his 49th birthday on Saturday, May 29 - the day before the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race in NASCAR Nextel Cup racing. As usual, he will drive the #49 Dodge, sponsored by Schwan's Home Service and fielded by BAM Racing. "We felt we had to make it a little more special for him," said Howard Miller, Schwan's vice president for corporate relations. "A guy doesn't celebrate his 49th birthday every day . . . even though we
realize Kenny might claim it's his 49th birthday for the next several years." Schwan's is bringing its familiar yellow home-delivery trucks to
Lowe's Motor Speedway on Sunday to treat 49,000 fans to complimentary Schwan's Confetti ice cream cups as they enter the speedway. In addition, 49,000 fans will receive free Schwan's refrigerator magnets. Race fans will be invited to log onto www.schwans.com/happybirthdayken to get a free dinner with their first order, receive a special commemorative Ken Schrader birthday screensaver or wallpaper, and send Schrader a birthday email greeting. "Pretty nice stuff. Sure beats a card and a necktie," Schrader laughed. "Actually, Anne (Schrader, wife) and my kids (Dorothy, Sheldon) have always taken pretty good care of me on my birthday," he said. "I think it's pretty cool Schwan's is involving the fans at Lowe's Motor Speedway with ice cream and a chance for a free dinner too. Of course, I think it is even nicer they are going to bring ice cream, cake and
that other stuff down to our transporter Sunday afternoon too." At 49, Schrader is the oldest active full-time driver in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series but in an era where younger drivers have have been the rage, Schrader continues to be an icon for Schwan's and a force on the race track. This is the second time he has driven for Schwan brands; in the late 1980s, he piloted the Red Baron Pizza-sponsored cars. Now with Schwan's Home Service sponsorship, he's glad to be involved in the company's second NASCAR outing. Fans who enjoy following Ken Schrader's exploits online are invited to visit www.SchwansRacing.com.(Williams Company PR)(5-30-2004)
#18 Wins Pit-Crew Challenge: The #18 Interstate Batteries Racing Team won the POWERade Pit-Crew Challenge in front of Coca-Cola Stage on Speed Street May 28 in Charlotte, N.C. The eight-man crew changed four tires and simulated a refill of Sunoco gasoline in 15.93 seconds to defeat #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team in the final round. The team, which performs pit stops for the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet driven by Bobby Labonte in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, collected a check for $15,000. "It's a great accomplishment for them," said crew chief, Michael "Fatback" McSwain. "They've had some ups and downs this year, but they've worked really hard. I think by winning the competition, they're seeing that hard work pay off. I'm proud of them. Hopefully, this will give us some great momentum for not only the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, but for the remainder of the year." Members of the Interstate Batteries Racing team over-the-wall crew are: Mark "Hollywood" Armstrong (front-tire changer), Barry Cook (rear-tire changer), Alan Copley (rear-tire carrier), Jason Lee (jackman), Tom Lampe (gasman), Tom McCrimmon (catch can), Todd Meredith (front tire carrier), Adam von Olhausen (windshield). Paul Alepa is the team's trainer and pit-stop coordinator.(JGR PR)(5-30-2004)
Deal for a Sponsor: "This year, there is no way it will be a break-even year, unless of course, we were to sign a sponsor by Daytona (Pepsi 400)," #50 Team Owner Don Arnold said. "I think what we need to do is sign a sponsor for 2005 and 2006 and give 'em the rest of this year free. We'll be happy if we come close to breaking even this year."(Naples Daily News)(5-30-2004)
Jeff Gordon to be on "Live with Regis and Kelly": Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon is scheduled to make his fifth appearance as a co-host with Kelly Ripa on the popular daytime talk show "Live with Regis and Kelly" on June 2. The show is in its 16th year of national syndication. Check local listings for time and channel.(Charlotte Observer)(5-30-2004)
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)
#3 Could be used again: Car owner Richard Childress says there could be a day when a #3 car returns to NASCAR's top series, but it's not likely to happen soon. Childress retains the rights to the number -- made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt -- but has not used it in a Cup race since Earnhardt's death in the 2001 Daytona 500. "I don't think the stylized 3 should ever be brought back to racing unless it was a special, special event for an Earnhardt or a family member or something, but I don't see it coming back full time,'' Childress said. What about somebody using a #3 that is styled differently than what adorned Earnhardt's cars? "I would hope everyone would respect that and not want to do that," Childress said.(News and Record)(5-29-2004)
Trickle back racing: Dick Trickle returns to the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series, Memorial Day Monday, May 31 when the series makes its traditional holiday stop at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna. Trickle helped bring the Midwest Series, then known as the ARTGO Challenge Series, to national prominence while barnstorming the Midwest for much of the late 1970's and 80's. Thanks to twin and triple feature programs, in 1979, Trickle once captured five series feature events within a 24-hour period. Even though he has not competed full-time on the series in over 15 years, Trickle still sits atop the Midwest Series all-time win list with 68 triumphs.(RacingOne)(5-29-2004)
"and your little dog too......" #24-Jeff Gordon, #77-Brendan Gaughan and #38-Elliott Sadler are three of four cars that are scheduled to run "The Wizard of Oz" 65th Anniversary paint schemes at Kansas in October. Dorothy's dog Toto will replace the Pedigree dog on the No. 38, while Jeff Gordon will sport a rainbow colored car featuring the Cowardly Lion.(RacingOne)(5-29-2004)
"we need a bigger boat":#9-Kasey Kahne and #0-Ward Burton will make a splash this summer as they will promote DreamWorks' new movie "Shark Tales." Kahne is scheduled to run the "Shark Tales" scheme at Michigan, Bristol, California and Kansas in the Busch Series, while Burton will have the new animated full-length film on his #0 Chevrolet at Talladega.(RacingOne)(5-29-2004)
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)
Heat Races instead of qualifying? LMS's promoter Humpy Wheeler says he's considering heat races instead of traditional best-of-two laps qualifying sessions for setting the field for future Cup races in Charlotte. "That's the way to put 75,000 people in the grandstands," Wheeler said. "And there's no reason we can't do heat races." And he says that it's time for Charlotte and other cities to put up financial bids for NASCAR's annual all-star race. Wheeler is also looking at ways to provide more punch to the all-star weekend. "The NBA has that slam-dunk contest. Well, let's take these guys over to the dirt track and say 'OK guys....'"Why not? Some of these guys have never raced dirt, but I'm sure they'd like to try it. Imagine what that would be like."(Winston Salem Journal)(5-29-2004)
Unleaded Gas Coming to NASCAR? NASCAR officials are telling engine builders to prepare, again, for a possible changeover to unleaded racing fuel. And NASCAR is polling teams about switching to aluminum engine blocks.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-29-2004)
Good News: The newborn daughter of NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek, who has been in the hospital for nearly two weeks with a bacterial infection, was expected to go home Friday night. "She had a very high fever, and they've run all these tests and had her on antibiotics all this time," Nemechek said of his third child, Kennedy. "She's going to be tough when she grows up, because they've stuck her with so many needles and she just keeps pulling them out. Thank goodness everything now is OK, but they had to make sure because her fever was so high."(Charleston Post and Courier)(5-29-2004)
Good Move: Lowe's Motor Speedway's Humpy Wheeler said that security will be tight this weekend to prevent any problems such as occurred at Talladega. "We've got our security stepped up quite a bit," Wheeler says. "Anybody who throws anything here is gone."(Winston Salem Journal)(5-29-2004)
Fans choose Marlin's Prilosec scheme: Chip Ganassi Racing has unveiled a special paint scheme that fans picked for the No. 40 Dodge that Sterling Marlin will drive in the Oct. 16 UAW/GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The paint scheme promotes Prilosec OTC medication. Out of three possibilities, fans selected a car that is purple and black with gold numbers and white lettering.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), see an image of the car on my #40 Team Paint Schemes page.(5-28-2004)
All-Star Race TV Ratings Fall: FX's airing of last Saturday night's Nextel Cup All-Star Challenge earned a 3.6 Nielsen cable rating, a 3 percent decrease from last year's 3.7, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The telecast averaged 4.8 million viewers, down 2 percent from 4.9 million in '03.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-28-2004)
Red Baron swoops in on Schrader's car: Red Baron Pizza - which sponsored Ken Schrader's NASCAR Winston Cup ride with the #90-Junie Donlavey team during the 1986 and 1987 seasons - will again sponsor the Fenton, Mo., native for two races in 2004: the July
11 Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., and the Oct. 31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Red Baron is returning to NASCAR competition in celebration of the Red Baron Pizza Squadron's 25th anniversary. The nation's leading civilian aerobatic performance team will participate in in approximately 150 events around the country during 2004, and will play a key role in the
NASCAR promotion. Red Baron frozen pizza products are distributed under the Schwan's Consumer Brands North America banner, which also markets other leading frozen-food retail brands that include Tony's and Freschetta frozen pizzas, Pagoda Asian specialties, and Larry's potato side-dishes. Schwan's Consumer Brands is a division of The Schwan Food Company, whose Schwan's Home Service business unit sponsors Schrader and the #49 BAM Dodge throughout the remainder of the season. Red Baron Pizza will give NASCAR fans a chance to fully enjoy itsreunion with Ken Schrader. The brand has teamed with Jewel-Osco stores to offer a special in-store promotion that gives consumers chances to win great prizes that include four tickets to all five Chicago races, pit and garage tours, meet-and-greet opportunities with Ken Schrader and the BAM Racing pit crew, and opportunities to enjoy an exciting flight in a Red Baron Pizza Squadron vintage bi-plane. The promotion began in Jewel-Osco stores this week and continues through June 19.(Williams Company PR)(5-28-2004)
Biffle and Busch are cool with each other: #16-Greg Biffle said he's ready to put his incident with Roush Racing teammate #97-Kurt Busch in the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge behind them, but made no apologies Thursday for being upset by the bump from Busch that ignited a multi-car crash. "I think getting wrecked on the straightaway by your teammate certainly would be something to set a guy off," Biffle said. "That would be like your neighbor burning down your house by accident - you're going to be upset." Biffle said he and Busch talked on Monday. "He felt really bad about what happened," Biffle said. "He wrecked a lot of cars besides ours ... and that wasn't the outcome he planned. He misjudged by a lot and he's got to personally pay the price for that himself. There's nothing I can do about it. It's Kurt's problem. ... We've got to race as if last week didn't happen. Otherwise we're going to handicap ourselves going forward." Busch once again took the blame for the incident. "It was just a stupid mistake on my part," Busch said. "We discussed things on the phone and that helped solidify things. It has been easier to work through this because of how long I've known Biffle and with our relationship in the Truck series and then moving it into Cup. We're two gentlemen and now we're on to the next week."(ThatsRacin.com)(5-28-2004)
Ward Taking Saturday Off: #0-Ward Burton, ran 45 laps in Thursday's practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, concentrating on race runs as he will miss Happy Hour practice on Saturday to attend the high school graduation of his daughter, Sarah. The team is undecided if it will run at all on Saturday and if it does, Jason Leffler, who runs for the team in the Busch Series would likely practice the #0 NetZero Chevy.(Speed Channel's Qualifying Coverage)(5-28-2004)
Special Paint for RCR at LMS in Oct: All three of RCR's fulltime NASCAR NEXTEL Cup cars will have special paint schemes in the UAW-GM 500 made famous by RCR over the years. The #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet will have a blue-and-white paint scheme reminiscent of the #3 Wrangler cars, the #30 America Online Chevrolet will carry a white-blue-and-red paint scheme reminiscent of the #3 Piedmont Airlines cars, and the #31 Cingular Wireless scheme will be reminiscent of the #3 Quicksilver car. RCR's two fulltime NASCAR Busch Series teams, the #2 ACDelco Chevrolet and the #21 Reese's Chevrolet, will maintain their primary paint schemes and will also carry the RCR 35th Anniversary logo on the hood. All RCR cars currently carry the 35th Anniversary logo. AND Richard Childress Racing (RCR) will celebrate its 35th Anniversary by giving one lucky fan (and a guest) a fantasy race weekend at the UAW-GM 500 weekend in October at Lowe's Motor Speedway and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with team owner Richard Childress. The "Ride with Richard" promotion begins today (May 27) and will run through Sept. 8, when the winner will be chosen. Race fans will enter by signing up in the Fan Central section of RCR's revamped RCRNetwork web site at www.rcrracing.com, www.rcrnetwork.com, or at AOL Keyword: RCR.(RCR PR)(5-28-2004)
Boxing on the #8 at Lowe's: Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins have never been on a ride like this. The June 5 "Collision Course" HBO PPV paint scheme will be on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s red #8 Budweiser Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. On Earnhardt's decklid, the details of Top Rank's Pay Per View show will be spelled out: "Collision Course," featuring Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Sturm and Bernard Hopkins vs. Robert Allen at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.(fingerprint, inc./Budweiser Racing PR) See an image of the car on my #8 Team Paint Schemes page.(5-27-2004)
Charity to Cheer - 5 Million Reasons, new commercial: Most NASCAR fans pledge allegiance to a single driver, but during this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 there will be 5 million reasons for them to pull for up to six drivers to perform well. Should the Gillette Young Guns - Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick - finish the race in the top six spots, and a consumer correctly picks their order of finish at www.gilletteyoungguns.com, they will be entered into a random drawing to collect a grand prize of $5 million dollars. And if there is a consumer winner, Gillette will also donate $5 million to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) as well. AND NASCAR cars might have multiple nicks and scrapes after a race, but not the drivers themselves. Look for two new 30-second TV spots to debut during the FOX telecast of this Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 starring the Gillette Young Guns - Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick - each showing off their clean-shaven mugs to promote the new M3Power razor.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(5-27-2004)
Gordon's final practice at Indy: Robby Gordon completed 20 laps in Thursday's traditional "Carb Day" -- the last practice session before Sunday's 88th Indianapolis 500 -- in his Meijer/Coca-Cola Dallara-Chevrolet before leaving for NASCAR practice and qualifying at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. He'll drive the Richard Childress Racing Cingular Wireless Chevy in Sunday evening's Coca-Cola 600 after competing in his 10th Indy 500. Gordon's best lap Thursday was 214.630mph. "We're OK," said Gordon. "Just doing an (oil) leak check and scrubbing in some tires today." Gordon will be in Charlotte through late Saturday, then returns to Indianapolis that evening. This is the third consecutive year he is attempting the "Double"by racing both in the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.(Team Gordon PR)(5-27-2004)
3rd place for Rudd: With his start in the 2004 Coca-Cola 600, #21-Ricky Rudd is expected to make his 56th start at Lowe's Motor Speedway and moves into third behind Buddy Baker (57) and Richard Petty (64). Rudd has never won at LMS.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-27-2004)
Labonte the pick at Lowe's? Bobby Labonte Sets the Pace in the Last 10 Races at Lowe's
Most Points (1,630)
Most Top Fives (seven)
Most Top-10s (nine)
Most Laps Led (479)
Best Average Finish (4.7)(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-27-2004)
Most Popular Voting Crosses 1 Million In Record Time: Voting records continue to fall as more than 1 million votes have been cast this year for the Grands!® Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award. So far this season, fans have cast a total of 1,229,264 votes online at www.mostpopulardriver.com. This number is well ahead of the more than 700,000 votes cast at this point one year ago. More than 3 million votes have been cast in each of the past two years that Grands! Biscuits have sponsored the award, making it one of the most popular online fan-based awards in American sports. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continues to lead the nationwide balloting, maintaining his first-place position since the start of the 2003 season. The son of a Most Popular Driver-winning father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Earnhardt Jr. leads second-place Jeff Gordon. Kevin Harvick, Michael Waltrip and Tony Stewart round out the top five in current voting. The Web site, www.mostpopulardriver.com, is available for Internet voting through 11:59 a.m. CST on Monday, Nov. 22. Additional voting guidelines are accessible on the Web site.(Williams Company PR)(5-27-2004)
Jeff Gordon to play Poker: Jeff Gordon is scheduled to appear on BRAVO's Celebrity Poker Showdown on July, 15th at 9:00pm/et on BRAVO. Gordon will be playing for the The Jeff Gordon Foundation. For more info see their site: bravotv.com.(5-27-2004)
Highway named after Junior Johnson: Former NASCAR driver and car owner Junior Johnson can add something else to his list of his accomplishments. He has a highway named after him. Gov. Mike Easley and the Department of Transportation renamed Highway 421 from the Yadkin-Wilkes County line to the Windy Gap Exit in Wilkes County at "Junior Johnson Highway."
"It's one of the top things that's ever happened to me in my whole life. I can't talk about it because of the emotions and I'm not an emotional person, so you can tell it means a lot to me," said Johnson. Darryl Waltrip also spoke at the ceremony. He is one of Johnson's former drivers.(WXII12.com)(5-27-2004)
WCRWA and BSLA announce the formation of WAM: The Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary and Busch Series Ladies Association are pleased to announce the formation of the Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports, Inc. (WAM, Inc.) The newly formed organization is the result of a merger between the WCRWA and BSLA. Founded in 1965 and 1996 respectively, the two organizations decided to join forces, in addition to the ladies of the Craftsman Truck Series to form one united front which serves all three major NASCAR sanctioned racing divisions. The Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports’ mission is to enrich the sport of NASCAR with a commitment to its families through fundraising and wellness programs for those requiring medical or financial assistance. In addition, the Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports, Inc. helps support organizations with likeminded missions and purposes. For more information on the Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports or how to join please call 704-455-9299 or log onto www.waminc.org.(WAM PR)(5-27-2004)
Tide Racing Proud New Partner of Victory Junction Gang Camp: Tide, the number-one selling laundry detergent in America and sponsor of the #32 Tide/Downy Chevrolet driven by Ricky Craven in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, announced today it has become a proud new partner of Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp offering weekly sessions for children with life-threatening illnesses beginning this June in Randleman, NC. Tide’s relationship with Victory Junction includes the following elements:
Official sponsorship of Victory Junction’s laundry hut, freshly painted in Tide orange, yellow and blue and officially named “Tide’s Soap Box Racer”
Brand-new Whirlpool appliances in the laundry hut, courtesy of Tide
Annual supplies of Tide laundry detergent and Downy dryer sheets to meet the needs of Victory Junction on a year-round basis
Tide NASCAR racing simulator and slot car game for Victory Junction’s recreational facilities.(PPI Motorsports PR)(5-27-2004)
Testing at Daytona AND Elliott's plans: on Tuesday, May 25 and Wednesday, May 26 from 9:00am - 5:00pm/et Evernham Motorsports and driver #91-Bill Elliott and Petty Enterprises and driver #45-Kyle Petty are expected to participate in a two-day test session in preparation for the 46th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 3. The test session is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(5-25-2004) AND: For the first time since 1983, Bill Elliott isn't running a full NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. Instead he is competing in select races in the #91 Dodge for owner Ray Evernham and helping Evernham with research and development such as participating in a test session along with Petty Enterprises' Kyle Petty on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the 46th annual Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 3. Elliott, who only competed in the Budweiser Shootout during Speedweeks 2004, says sponsorship will determine the rest of his driving schedule, and that includes whether or not he would race in the Pepsi 400. "I want to run some more this year and maybe do some stuff next year," Elliott said. "I would like to try to come back here and run good again but whether that happens or not I don't know. Tickets for the Pepsi 400 Weekend are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(5-27-2004)
Donlavey back in action UPDATE: hearing that legendary car owner, Junie Donlavey will enter the #90 Donlavey Racing Ford in 12 NEXTEL Cup races starting with Dover in June. Kevin Ray will supposedly be the driver. Sponsors will be Boudreauxs Butt Paste and RacingUSA.com. What is this Butt Paste? It is a product for babies, to help with diaper rash, RacingUSA.com sells NASCAR stuff, like diecast.(5-25-2004) UPDATE: Racing legend Junie Donlavey will make his return to the track as a car owner next weekend for the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway. Donlavey Racing in conjunction with TRIX Racing [ran ARCA and some Cup races as the #79 a few years ago - from NJ], will once again field its' #90 Ford with up and coming driver Kevin Ray behind the wheel. The team will enter twelve events this season and hopes to run a full schedule in 2005. "We are very excited to be back in the NEXTEL Cup Series and I feel like we have assembled a great team to run these select races, and a really aggressive driver in Kevin Ray," said Donlavey. Kevin Ray is the twenty-six year old son of John Ray, who fielded a Grand National car for such racing legends as Dale Earnhardt, Johnny Rutherford, and several others. A native of Eastaboga, AL, Ray has grown up around the sport of stock car racing and has been addicted since his go-cart days at age ten. He has since seen success at many different levels of racing including quarter-midgets, mini-sprints, late models, and legends cars. Kevin has also competed in both the ARCA and Busch series, as well as the NASCAR All-Pro Series. He is excited to be making his NEXTEL Cup debut next week with a legend like Junie Donlavey. "I am extremely excited about making my first NEXTEL Cup Series start at Dover next week," said Ray. "I have never driven at Dover, however my confidence is really ramped up for this event and all of the events on our schedule, and I feel confident about both my ability and the ability of the team members we have selected."
Co-primary sponsors for the selected races will be Boudreaux's Butt Paste, and RacingUSA.com. Both are veteran sponsors and both are
looking forward to being involved with Ray and Donlavey. Boudreaux's Butt Paste is a company based out of Covington, Louisiana. The product was originally developed over twenty years ago by local pharmacist George Boudreaux in response to his customers' need for a diaper rash medication. The product worked so well that George Boudreaux began selling it to other fine pharmacies and is now sold throughout the country in Walmart, Target, soon to be Walgreens, as well as in many other grocery and drug chains. It's not just for diaper rash anymore, however. Over the years, the product has shown to be effective in treating things like, rashes, minor burns, chapped lips, insect bites, and many other skin ailments. It is used by many collegiate as well as professional athletes around the country to prevent chafing. After features on Oprah, ESPN-Game Day, and in magazines like People, buttpaste.com has seen a sharp increase in interest and in sales. George Boudreaux has previously sponsored Kim Crosby in both the ARCA and the Busch Series, and is excited to be making the jump to the NEXTEL Cup Series with Junie Donlavey and Kevin Ray. The Co-Primary sponsor on the #90 Ford will be RacingUSA.com. RacingUSA is based right in the backyard of Kevin Ray in Hoover, Alabama and is the most frequently shopped, independently owned site on the internet for NASCAR merchandise. Since it's inception in 1999, RacingUSA.com has shipped more than 100,000 internet orders and has also been continually rated "Excellent" by NASCAR fans in both the United States and Canada. RacingUSA.com also has a long history of supporting multiple youth organizations as well as drivers in the NEXTEL Cup, Busch, Craftsman Truck, and ARCA Series'.(Victory Lane Motorsports Management PR)(5-26-2004) IMAGE: see an image of the car on my 2004 Cup Paint Schemes page.(5-27-2004)
Bodine News UPDATE on both!: Geoffrey Bodine will be in the #98 Lucas Oil Ford at Lowe's Motor Speedway, hearing that their former driver will be in the #89 Dodge, not sure what that is all about...yet. Can't see Morgan Shepherd giving up his ride, unless a sponsor is involved somehow.(5-26-2004) UPDATE: Todd Bodine was added to the entry list in the #37 Dodge sponsored by Carter's Royal Dispos-all, same sponsor as #89-Morgan Shepherd who is also listed. So we are up to 53 drivers/cars now. AND: Geoffrey Bodine will be once again driving the #98 Lucas Oil Ford this weekend in the Coca-Cola 600. This will be his second straight weekend that he will pilot the #98 car. MACH 1 will be returning to Lowes Motor Speedway with the same car that qualified
22nd and finished 16th in the previous weeks Nextel All-Star Challenge. “By virtue of having Geoffrey behind the wheel during last week’s All-Star race, we consider that a good “test session” for the 600” said team owner, Chris Edwards. Edwards went on to say “We are very pleased to have LUCAS OIL, and www.extrememotorcycles.com as well as Geoffrey back with us for the 600. Geoffrey did a great job for us last weekend and without our sponsors we would not be here for the 600, we look forward to working with them again this weekend.” America’s Most Wanted Motorsports is offering an opportunity to a sponsor to become a presenting sponsor of their NEXTEL CUP/NBS motorsports program(s). By becoming a presenting sponsor of the America’s Most wanted Motorsports program a sponsor could invest in the opportunity to garner Tremendous amounts of NATIONAL exposure on and off the track and assist in saving the lives of innocent children and tie their team marketing and promotional efforts in with John Walsh as well as a guaranteed ROI! This opportunity carries the possibilities of upwards of 3.5 Million dollars in prime time and non motorsports media coverage as well as the coverage that will come with the actual competition of the racing team. For more information visit www.bodydynamicsracing.com.(5-27-2004) Todd and the #37: from what I understand, the #37 is an offshoot of the #89 as John Carter has split with Morgan Shepherd (who will continue to run #89). Todd will try to run every lap of every race using cars purchased from Ganassi Racing and engines from Ernie Elliott. Carter has ordered more cars and the team is currently using the Cicci-Kelly Racing shops.(5-27-2004)
Ganassi Employees get watches: Chip Ganassi Racing is using their new partnership with TAG Heuer to recognize their employees. As part of their partnership, every employee with at least one year of service to the company will receive a free TAG Heuer luxury watch. It was recently announced that TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeper, Official Watch, and Chronograph and Official Partner for Chip Ganassi Racing for their entries in the Indy Racing League, NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, and the Grand-Am Series. TAG Heuer, the benchmark in prestigious sports watches and chronographs since 1860, is the fourth-largest luxury brand in the world watch market.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(5-27-2004)
Toyota to Cup in 2006 UPDATE: The word on the street in the NASCAR garage over the weekend was that Toyota is now expected to debut its Cup cars at the 2006 Daytona 500 and that NASCAR will let Ford, Dodge and GM have new Cup engine designs for that season. That, however, could give Toyota a significant head start, since Toyota this year is running its Cup engine on the Truck tour.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-24-2004) UPDATE: been told that Toyota would not come to Cup [if they do] before 2007 as they have three year contracts with the seven current Truck Series drivers and folks on those teams tell me, there are no plans to break those contracts.(5-26-2004)
Marlin and the Marines: The #40 Coors Light Dodge will be sporting a Marines paint scheme this weekend at the Coca-Cola 600 with driver Sterling Marlin. This is the first of four races that the Coors Light Dodge will be featuring the Marines paint scheme. AND Marlin will be presenting at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Wednesday night in Las Vegas. The show will be broadcast on CBS at 8:00pm/et. AND II There will be a special announcement at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday regarding the Prilosec OTC paint scheme to be run on the #40 Dodge later this season. There was a contest of three schemes and the winner will be announced.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(5-26-2004)
Brewco to Cup? hearing Brewco Motorsports [#27 and #37 in the Busch Series] have recently purchased a coiple pf DEI cars and plans to run the Richmond race [with Timberwolf] and possible the Brickyard 400 at Indy [may with the USPS]. David Green will supposedly drive the cars, since the #27 and #37 are not being used, I would assume one of the ohter could be ran.(5-26-2004)
Blaney at Lowe's, Whelen's, Bo-Dyn Bobsled:Accession Consulting Inc. joins Bill Davis Racing as an associate sponsor for Dave Blaney in the #23 Dodge. Accession Consulting Inc. is a healthcare information system consulting company that was founded in 2003 by a small team of industry experts that were hand selected from some of the country's largest and most successful organizations. Accession Consulting Inc. provides its clients, not only with the system expertise, but also with the project management’s capabilities to ensure a successful project. With a focus on patient care and medical records, Accession Consulting Inc. brings high-tech expertise and a clear vision of the future to their clients, ensuring their short and long-term success. Accession Consulting Inc. is an established leader in PACS and RIS implementations with several highly successful projects recently completed.
Blaney will carry the names of nearly 200 individuals on the #23 Whelen Dodge’s decklid. The names inscribed were part of a promotion
to support the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, whose mission is to construct superior equipment for the U.S. men’s and women’s bobsled teams. For every $50 worth of Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project apparel purchased, a single name was added to the car’s decklid. AND In an effort to support the United States bobsledding program, Whelen Engineering and Bill Davis Racing have a promotional opportunity in place that will allow fans to have their names inscribed on the trunklid of the team’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car that will be driven by Dave Blaney during the Coca-Cola 600, May 30 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. For every $50 worth of Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. apparel purchased (excluding taxes and shipping), a single name will be added to the trunklid of Blaney’s #23 Dodge; 100 percent of the profits from the sale of the apparel will go to the bobsled project. The apparel can be purchased by going to Whelen’s web site (www.whelen.com) and clicking on MOTORSPORTS. Each contributor will receive a photo of the trunklid. The offer ends May 7. The Bill Davis Racing entry for the Charlotte race will have primary sponsorship from Whelen Engineering, a maker of emergency lighting and early warning sirens, based in Chester, Conn.(BDR PR)(5-26-2004)
Rookie Stuff: A Raybestos Rookie has won four of the 11 Bud Pole positions this season entering the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. #30-Johnny Sauter is the only Raybestos Rookie that has been running at the finish of all 11 races this season. Matt Kenseth is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the Coca-Cola 600. A Raybestos Rookie has won at least one race in each of the last FIVE seasons dating back to Tony Stewart's win at Richmond International Raceway in September, 1999. See more Rookie Notes on my ROTY page.(5-26-2004)
Did ya know? #24-Jeff Gordon won the Auto Club 500 at California by 12.871 seconds, posting the largest margin of victory since Bobby Labonte beat Gordon to the line by 22.071 seconds at Dover on June 6, 1999.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-26-2004)
Garvey to make Cup debut at MIS UPDATE Lepage at Lowe's: the NASCAR Scene is reporting that full time ASA and part time Busch Series driver, Mike Garvey will make a Next Cup race attempt at Michigan International Speeway in June, driving the Joe Auer / Competitive Edge Motorsports owned #51 Chevy. Plans were to run at Richmond on May 15th, but the car was not ready.(NASCAR Scene)(5-24-2004) UPDATE: NASCAR.com's entry list has Kevin Lepage in the #51 Negotiations Seminar.com Chevy owned Joe Auer / Competitive Edge Motorsports. See images of the car on my 2004 Cup Paint Scheme page.(5-26-2004)
Justice Cars: Artisit Matthew Willis is the the designer of some of the Justice League cars [see images on my Paint Scheme Gallery], he designed the #6 Batman, #9 Batman (Busch), #16 Flash, #21 Wonder Woman, the #99 Green Lantern. Also check out some of his 3d animated renderings at www.bodydynamicsracing.com.(5-26-2004)
Robby and Tony almost team up for Indy: Robbie Gordon says he’d love to have Tony Stewart as a teammate for the 2005 Indianapolis 500. "It’s something that we should consider next year. I don’t know what his plans are but I will run a car next year and if he wants to drive one of them we’ll 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, we’ll run him in a back-up car...it’s a Chevrolet…heck (Gordon joked) we could race cars, race helicopters, race airplanes and race helicopters again and see who wins." As for Stewart’s 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. He’s proven he can drive Indy cars...he could do it with his eyes
closed...it was just disappointed he didn’t drive it at all."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-25-2004)
Testing at Kentucky: #15-Michael Waltrip will test the DEI Napa Chevy and #44-Justin Labonte will test the Coast Gaurd Dodge on Wednesday, May 26th at Kentucky Speedway(Kentucky Speedway PR)(5-25-2004)
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Victory Junction: On Tuesday, June 1 at 10:00am/et, Legendary NASCAR driver Richard Petty, and seven-year-old Haleigh Epperson of Browns Summit will cut the ribbon for the two cabins built through donations from North and South Carolina credit unions. Thousands of credit union members and employees across the Carolinas helped raise $500,000 to build the cabins. The three-year fundraising project kicked off late in 2002, and is very close to reaching the original goal - more than a year ahead of schedule! "The credit union folks really took this project on," said Petty, "and we have been amazed at their commitment to Victory Junction Gang Camp. It'll be a pleasure to be there and say 'thanks' personally," Petty added. Epperson will join Petty in cutting the ribbon on the cabins. Victory Junction designated her "Camper Number One," and she looking forward to attending the camp in its inaugural season. Haleigh (pronounced Hay-lee) is a cancer survivor.
Victory Junction Gang Camp enriches the lives of children with serious or life threatening illnesses by providing camping experiences that
are memorable, exciting, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound. The $24-million camp, set to a NASCAR theme, includes activities such as arts and crafts, horseback riding, a pool/water park and a theatre, among others. The camp is supported through donations from the public and is free-of-charge to the campers. Victory Junction opens June 20 and is NOW accepting applications.(Victory Junction Camp)(5-25-2004)
Idiot Alert III: In the continuation of an ugly trend from earlier this year, Matt Kenseth said that fans were throwing debris at his car after he won Saturday's race. "I had a full beer can hit the car," Kenseth said. "I don't like stuff hitting the car, but there's nothing you can do about five or six individuals, I guess." Flying debris was a problem after races at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and California Speedway earlier this year. Like many racetracks, LMS has signs warning fans that they will be ejected for throwing things on the track.(USA Today)(5-25-2004)
Round-Up on the #99 at the Coca-Cola 600: The #99 Ford of Jeff Burton will carry the Roundup logo once again for the upcoming Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. This will be Roundup's fifth race with Burton and the # 99 Roush Racing team. Burton, a two-time Coca-Cola 600 winner, is ecstatic to continue the partnership with Roundup. "We're excited to have Roundup on the No. 99 Ford this coming weekend." Burton continued, "Roundup has been a great sponsor and we've had a lot of fun working with them over the last several weeks. We're hoping to go out and give them a good run this Sunday at the Coke 600."(Roush Racing PR)(5-25-2004)
Sunoco on the way out? Shell in? DENIED: Is NASCAR ready to bail out of its sponsorship deal with Sunoco as the official fuel in order to make a more lucrative deal with Shell? That's the word on the street. A Shell deal would give NASCAR a much bigger presence out on the highway, because Shell has more than 20,000 service stations in the United States, and that's four times as many as Sunoco.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-23-2004) UPDATE: NASCAR has categorically denied that Sunoco will be replaced by Shell as official fuel of the sport. A NASCAR spokesman dismissed the story that started this rumor as "rank nonsense." In addition, NASCAR president Mike Helton said the association between the two has never been stronger. "Any suggestion that it isn't, is absolutely false," Helton said. "Sunoco and NASCAR are in the first year of a ten-year commitment for Sunoco to provide the world's best racing gasoline to NASCAR. Sunoco has exceeded our expectations in the quality of the fuel they delivering flawlessly to the race track. In addition, the company is marketing and promoting our sport in new ways, which will help NASCAR to attract new fans and to continue to grow. By all measures, this partnership between NASCAR and Sunoco has been a huge success. NASCAR is looking forward to the next decade together, and hopefully beyond."(NASCAR.com)(5-25-2004)
Indy 500 / Cup connections: four drivers will run the Indy 500 on May 30th with Nextel Cup connections, two drivers ran in Cup races in the past, one is a part-timer and one is a full timer:
#20-Al Unser Jr. starts 17th, ran the Daytona 500 in the past, plus has Stacker 2 as a sponsor.
#70-Robby Gordon, starts 18th, runs full time currently, in the #31 Cingular Chevy and will run both the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day..again..see chart.
#41-Larry Foyt starts 22nd, his first IRL start, he runs part-time in Cup this season. Foyt has a sponsor for the race: Jacob and Co.
#98-P.J. Jones starts 31st, has run Busch and Cup.(5-24-2004)
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)
Ganssi to run Sorenson in ARCA race: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates development driver and defending ASA Rookie of the Year, Reed Sorenson, is entered in the Quaker Steak & Lube 100 ARCA RE/MAX Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway next Thursday. Sorenson will pilot the #77 Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Dodge in the ARCA race for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Sorenson is currently running for the ASA National Championship in the #29 Target/Texaco/Havoline Dodge. Sorenson is also expected to run two more ARCA races for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates during the 2004 season. Last season in ASA Reed recorded seven top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 17 races. He finished fourth in the final ASA National standings and won Rookie of the Year. The ARCA race is scheduled for Thursday, May 27th at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(5-24-2004)
#01 to salute the American Soldier: Joe Nemechek's #01 U.S. Army Chevy will pay a fitting tribute to the American men and women in uniform for the Memorial Day weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The hood on Nemechek's Army car will carry a replica of the Dec. 29, 2003 TIME magazine cover that honored the American Soldier as the Person of the Year. Traditionally, TIME selects a single notable person for its annual Person of the Year feature. However, for their valor and fearless defense of freedom during a tumultuous time, the American G.I. was selected for the honor. Action Performance will produce die-cast replicas of the #01 Army/American Soldier car in a variety of collector scales. Both TIME and the U.S. Army have agreed to donate their royalty proceeds to the Army Emergency Relief fund. The Army Emergency Relief is a private nonprofit organization with the sole mission of helping soldiers and their dependents in times of valid need. Since 1942, Army Emergency Relief has helped nearly three million Army personnel and their families with more than $837 million in financial assistance.(US Army PR), see an image of the car on my #01 Team Paint Scheme page.(5-24-2004)
NASCAR Launches Licensed Library Collection: NASCAR is set to wave the green flag on a new program as part of its publishing program, bringing NASCAR licensed books together into one branded group - the NASCAR Library Collection. The program launched on May 21st, and be immediately viewable via the NASCAR.com Superstore, which will give access to the NASCAR Library Collection specialty store on its homepage.
This year the NASCAR Library Collection will welcome 18 new titles to be part of the collection, which will include books for both kids and adults. The first branded release, under a new licensing agreement with DK Publishing, will be NASCAR Best Shots. This hardcover, coffee table book will be on shelf in time for Father's Day and contains exciting NASCAR photography, as well as a foreword by "The King", Richard Petty. The NASCAR Library Collection specialty store on nascar.com will give consumers the option to view excerpts from its officially licensed books, including the book cover and internal pages. Also featured will be detailed editorial descriptions and a place for fans to add their own book reviews. The next issue of the NASCAR.com Catalog, set to come out in June 2004, will also feature a section dedicated to the licensed books, offering volumes in the NASCAR Library Collection for sale. Several other consumer and retail programs are in the works for this year, making the NASCAR Library Collection and its books readily available to NASCAR's fan base of 75 million nationwide looking for other publications officially licensed by NASCAR.(NASCAR PR)(5-24-2004)
#99 Sponsor? NASCAR marketing chiefs were entertaining potential sponsors last weekend and reportedly took tours of the No. 99 Roush Racing team facility. Jeff Burton has continued a full-time campaign without a title sponsor.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-24-2004)
Fed-Ex to Gibbs? 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)
Andretti to attempt the 600 with Snap-On: DEI continues to search for a full-time sponsor for the #1 car but plans on running John Andretti this week with a Snap-on paint scheme for the Coca-Cola 600.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-24-2004)
COF to to Wind Tunnel: NASCAR's "car of the future" prototype is close to completion and expected to be taken to the wind tunnel for analysis in the next few weeks.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-24-2004)
Check Speeds With Modern Technology? After Friday's numerous pit-road speeding penalties during qualifying for the Nextel All-Star Challenge race, several crew chiefs and car owners are once again insisting that NASCAR get up to speed with modern technology and throw out those handheld stopwatches in favor of more high-tech speed-monitoring systems.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-24-2004)