SEPT 27-OCT 3, 2004


    October 3, 2004

  • USA WEEKEND'S '04 Most Caring Athletes: For their vision and hard work to open a NASCAR fantasy camp for sick kids, Kyle Petty and Tony Stewart are USA WEEKEND's Most Caring Athletes of 2004. They'll share a combined award of $10,000 from the magazine. Here's why they got our vote. See the full article by Dennis McCafferty at USA Weekend's site, or check your local Sunday Newspaper for the print version.(10-3-2004)

  • Terry Labonte Announcement AND: #5-Terry Labonte has scheduled a press conference next week to announce his plans. Labonte is expected to announce his semi-retirement and run a partial schedule next year.(Tennessean)
    AND Labonte said Saturday he will run a schedule of at least 10 races each in 2005 and 2006 for Rick Hendrick, his car owner since 1986 [actually since 1994]. A formal announcement will be made at an Oct. 12 press conference at the Hendrick shops. Labonte, who has driven #5 for Hendrick, will switch to car #44, the number he drove for Billy Hagan from 1979-1986.(High Point Enterprise), so looks like Kyle Busch will move up to Cup in 2005.(10-3-2004)

  • Kerry Earnhardt to the Trucks? during the Truck Series race at California Speedway, it was mentioned that there is a chance that Kerry Earnhardt will race the #15 Bill Ballew truck in 2005. Shane Hmiel is driving the truck this year, has won a race and there is a good chance Hmiel will move up to Nextel Cup in 2005, running the #23 Dodge.(10-3-2004)

  • Petty switches Engines? UPDATE: hearing that Petty Enterprises [PE], with drivers #45-Kyle Petty and #43-Jeff Green, will run Arrington Engines the rest of 2004 after Talladega and will supposedly have Evernham engines in 2005. Currently PE uses Mike Ege engines.(10-1-2004)
    UPDATE: Petty Enterprises will have a new engine supplier for 2005, Kyle Petty confirmed Saturday, but it is unclear who will build engines for Petty and Jeff Green next season. Mike Ege Racing Engines, which has built engines for the Pettys since 2002, will not return next year. "We're at that time in the season where we need to be making a change," Petty said. "We've talked about it for the last three or four months with Mike Ege Racing Engines, and it's come to a point where it's time to make a move. Next year, we'll do something different." The Dodges of Petty and Green will use Ege engines in this weekend's EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, and Ege has the option of staying with Petty Enterprises the rest of this year. "We've left that option up to him, if he chose to continue it or if he chose not to," Petty said. "We'll go from there. We have his stuff in down here." But who will be in the #43 and #45 in 2005? Petty said rumors about a switch to Evernham Engines or Arrington Engines are simply rumors. "There are rumors about everything, man," Petty said. "There are rumors I'm going to retire. What are you gonna do? That's why they're called rumors." The team won't return to building its own engines, as it did from 1949-2001. "We talked about it three or four months ago, whether we wanted to open our stuff back up," Petty said. "We made a decision at this point in time not to go down that road. If we were two or three years further down the road, then, yeah, we'd probably look at it. But right now, no."(

  • #23 BDR Team hopes to get sponsor: Mike Brown, general manager at Bill Davis Racing, said he has "guarded optimism" that the team will find a sponsor for a second full-time team next season with Shane Hmiel expected to be the driver. Hmiel is scheduled to drive for the team at Kansas City, Atlanta and Homestead this season. Brown said the team decided not to run Hmiel this weekend because he is competing in a Craftsman Truck race at California Speedway. He won the truck race last week at Las Vegas.(Roanoke Times), that would give us at least one Raybestos Rookie of the Year Candidate in 2005.(10-3-2004)

  • #16 Spoiler Problems: just before the start of the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR brought the #16 Ford of Greg Biffle to pit road to adjust the spoiler. Supposedly the car didn't meet the spoiler angle [55 degrees] measurement and NASCAR made the team adjust the spoiler to the proper angle. Biffle has to start the race at the end of the longest line, which means the back, Biffle was to start 12th.(NBC Race Coverage)(10-3-2004)

  • Budweiser Ford? Dale Earnhardt Jr. came into the Ken Patterson Media Center to field a few questions before the first session began. The program included an emcee to introduce the Chase for the Championship driver. As the emcee started her introduction, Junior began to sit up and prepare for the questioning. But that’s when the problem began. The emcee, said, “We’d like to welcome Dale Earnhardt Junior, the driver of the No. 8 Budweiser Ford.” Ford hung in the air for an interminable amount of time. While there were a few in the crowd who wondered momentarily if Dan Davis’ commitment to draw topflight race teams into Ford gear had paid huge dividends. But Earnhardt’s groan broke the silence indicating otherwise. The program got back on track after the emcee excused herself for the error, then introduced Earnhardt as the driver of the Budweiser Chevy.(Team Ford Racing)(10-3-2004)

  • #06 to promote Stocks for Tots: Chad Blount will carry the "Stocks for Tots" banner on the quarter panels of his #06 Penske Racing South Dodge in Sunday's EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in an effort to raise awarenesss for the charity. Founded in 1990 by Penske Racing South co-owners Don Miller and Rusty Wallace, Stocks for Tots has raised thousands of dollars and collected hundreds of toys for abused and neglected children in North Carolina. Proceeds from the motorsports community's annual event have benefited the Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center or Iredell County and Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN). This year's 15th annual Stocks for Tots is 6-10 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Lakeside Business Park in Mooresville, N.C. To gain admittance, a donation of a new, unwrapped toy, or a cash donation is required. For more information, go to

  • Bad Rookie: Rookie Carl Edwards was admonished by his team on the radio for going four-wide early in Saturday's first practice session. Edwards apologized. He scraped the wall during the second practice session.(Roanoke Times)(10-3-2004)

    October 2, 2004

  • Go Rich - Not NASCAR but...AND: ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Rich Woodland will make his first start of the season in the Food World 300 at Talladega Superspeedway this Saturday in the ARCA Race, the season finale. Woodland, who has 32 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit, will be making his first appearance since the 2002 Talladega event. Woodland has split his time in 2004 as a spotter for drivers TJ Bell, and Mike Guerity. Woodland, a friend Jayski's, will carry a JAYSKI.COM decal on the TV Panel of the #2 Pontiac Grand Prix. Woodland’s experience this season in the spotter’s stand has given him an excellent opportunity to review the ARCA competition. “From what I’ve seen, the ARCA Series is as competitive as ever. The Rookie class is sensational this year, and I’m looking forward to racing against them, especially TJ Bell, this weekend. It will be a lot of fun.” For more info on Rich and images of the 'silver bullet', see the team site at Woodland was 9th in final practice and will start 22nd. Six-time ARCA champ, Frank Kimmel will start on the pole, BAM Racing driver Klaus Graf will start 7th and was fastest in final practice. Lineup and 2005 ARCA Schedule can be found at The race will air live on Speed Channel, on Saturday, Oct 2nd at 2:00pm/et.(10-1-2004)
    UPDATE: nice job by Woodland, keeping out of all the wrecks and finishing 11th after running as high as 8th, imagine some credit goes to crew member Frank Parrish and the rest of the team.....Julian's? Woodland even got a brief mention once after the last big wreck and the logos got on the tube for a few seconds. By the way, Blake Feese won the race [Hendrick developmental driver] and I hope Reed Sorenson isn't expecting a Christmas card from Billy Venturini. See stroies and results on the site.(10-2-2004)

  • NC Governor's visit will unveil results of motorsports impact study: Gov. Mike Easley will pay a visit to Mooresville next week for the annual meeting of the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA). Easley is expected to speak Tuesday about the results of an economic impact study for the motorsports industry in North Carolina. The yearlong study analyzed the financial benefits that auto racing has and could bring to the state. N.C. Rep. Karen Ray of Mooresville was instrumental in landing the annual meeting here for the first time. A representative for Iredell and Catawba counties in the N.C. General Assembly, she has brought auto racing, and especially NASCAR, to the forefront of initiatives in Raleigh. That includes sponsoring a bill for stock car racing license plates, helping form a racing caucus in the General Assembly to promote racing, and now, bringing the NCMA annual meeting to Mooresville. “A good cross section of motorsports industry people will be present at the meeting, from (NCMA Chairman) Richard Petty to small businesses,” Ray said. Anyone can become a member of the NCMA [], she added.(Mooresville Tribune)(10-2-2004)

  • Parts Seized at Talladega: There weren't many parts confiscated by NASCAR inspectors prior to Friday's Nextel Cup qualifying session, but what was found could be costly. The most serious infraction was the rear spoiler of the #9 Dodge driven by rookie Kasey Kahne, which was taken for its failure to meet the NASCAR template. The infraction is considered serious and will likely merit a significant penalty, NASCAR officials confirmed.
    Also taken Friday: an expired left-lap belt from the #10 Chevrolet driven by Scott Riggs and an unapproved rear coil spring and bolts taken from the #1 Chevrolet driven by Kenny Wallace.(

  • Inspection Process at Talladega: NASCAR pulled a little switch this week for Talladega inspections when they opened the garage a day earlier than usual. The effort, being heralded as a success by NASCAR, took a lot of the frantic movement out of the speedway inspection process. The idea was to get the cars on the ground, inspected and ready to go early Friday morning; and with the efforts of both NASCAR and the competitors the plan worked fairly well. The added bonus of an extra half-hour of practice time for the teams was the reward for the head start in the exacting and very involved speedway inspection process. NASCAR’s reward was a “friendlier schedule to deal with.” NASCAR opened the garage Thursday, with the promise that each team could make one pass through the inspection gauntlet that speedway cars must endure. The extra time made for a more casual inspection, and left most of the crew chiefs with extra pre-practice time to work on their cars. NASCAR sources said they didn’t find anything out of the ordinary in inspections here, but some teams had to grind edges off their cars to fit templates. There was also a curious set of rear spring buckets that were found on one of the DEI entries [#1], forcing NASCAR inspectors to check the other DEI cars that had already gotten their cleared for competition stickers.(Team Ford Racing)(10-2-2004)

  • Remember the 'roof hatch'?: #6-Mark Martin has a roof hatch on the #6 Viagra Ford, the first time he or any of the Roush drivers have had one. Supposedly, the thinking was is that the faster cars all have one and the team wanted to see if Martin ran faster. As far as I know, only #38-Sadler and #15-Waltrip have a roof hatch, of course Waltrip made the hatch a bit famous by popping up out through it last year at Talladega after winning.(Speed Channel's Happy Hour coverage)(10-2-2004)

  • Talladega now #4: #01-Joe Nemechek's pole speed of 190.749 was less then the pole speed at Talladega in April, dropping Talladega Superspeedway to 4th on the fastest track category, behind:
    Texas, last pole speed 193.903mph; Track Record: 194.224 Mar 2002]
    Atlanta, 193.575 [197.478mph Nov 1997]
    Michigan, 190.865 (June 2004, Aug rain)[191.149 Aug 2000]
    from my 2005 Budweiser Shootout page.(10-2-2004)

  • Why Craven is in the #11 at Talladega: [Ricky] Craven is driving Joe Gibbs' third [#11] team car here, after NASCAR decided that rookie J. J. Yeley didn't have enough experience [on Superspeedway's], and when sponsor Procter and Gamble (Old Spice) pushed Craven over Dave Blaney because of his years with Tide [Procter and Gamble.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-2-2004)

  • A Record Fit for a King: Richard "The King" Petty won twice in 46 Talladega starts. But his two wins managed to set an unusual record. The first win came on August 11, 1974. The second came on May 1, 1983, setting the mark for longest stretch between wins at the 2.66-mile oval.(FoxSports)(10-2-2004)

  • Petree leaves MWR: Andy Petree is no longer with Michael Waltrip's race team after two weeks.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-2-2004)

  • Jeff Gordon Receives 2004 NASCAR Nextel Season Trophy: Jeff Gordon received an un-official "2004 NASCAR Nextel Regular Season Championship" trophy from his fans on Wednesday, Sept.29th, at the Hendrick race shop in Charlotte, NC. Though in a hurry and couldn’t pose for any pictures, Chrisy Gallagher, the Jeff Gordon Fan Director, said Jeff said "The trophy was awesome and to thank all those that were involved in giving it to him." In a NASCAR teleconference on September 14th, Jeff Gordon relayed his dismay for not receiving a trophy for being the points leader at the end of the 26 race regular season after the Richmond by saying” Does that mean I get a trophy for that regular season (laughter)?" In several other instances that week, Jeff joked and was razed by the media about the absent trophy. A group of his fans at together over the internet and collected funds to help offset costs for this 21" silver cup made in Australia. In addition to the costs incurred the fans were able to donate $240.00 to the Jeff Gordon Foundation.(10-2-2004)

  • A healthier Cheerio: Honey Nut Cheerios [Cheerios sponsors the #43 Dodge and Jeff Green] will be giving someone that opportunity and encouraging people to live a healthier lifestyle in the process. The "heart healthy" person who can best answer the question, "How I Lowered My Cholesterol" will appear on a special-edition Honey Nut Cheerios box, which will be unveiled in February at Daytona. Search entrants will submit stories that detail how they have lowered their cholesterol and made a commitment to a healthier lifestyle at Taylor Communications PR)(10-2-2004)

  • More on "The Protest": been asked about this, so the National Association for Minority Race Fans ( who plan to protest at the NASCAR race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway Oct. 31, will supposedly also have some sort of protest at Talladega this weekend, and their strange and stealthy website is now up, with little information and no working links. See the past story on my Atlanta Race Track News page. Supposedly they will be allowed to protest today at Talladega around 3:00pm/et [2pm local](10-1-2004)
    UPDATE: Track president Grant Lynch said the National Association for Minority Race Fans had sent a letter to Alabama officials "asking for assistance to hold a peaceful demonstration sometime this weekend." Lynch said he has been in contact by telephone only with the group's representatives and had no firm information about how many protesters might show up, how they might arrive or whether they would agree to stage their demonstration on a 7-acre site west of the track's main entrance as offered by officials. "The conversations have not been very informative," said Lynch, who said he had talked with an attorney representing the group along with its director, whom he identified at Gerard Brown, and another representative who apparently plans to be on site for the protest this weekend. "We are asking all of our fans to be respectful for this group and all of the other individuals who might be on our property this weekend," Lynch said. The National Association for Minority Race Fans first came to attention when a Clayton County, Ga., newspaper reported its plans to protest at Atlanta Motor Speedway on the final weekend of October.
    Its web site's home page featured a mission statement saying the group wanted "to create a safe race track environment while pursuing the political, social and economic equality of minority groups and citizens who desire to enjoy NASCAR events without racial bigotry." The password-protected site also featured a clock counting down to midnight Thursday, at which time the site was to open to the public. Just more than two hours before that point, however, the clock was stopped and the mission statement was replaced with another statement. It read: "In what we hope is a pivotal, positive step toward providing a safer haven for minority race fans, NASCAR has contacted NAMRF. The two organizations are currently in negotiations concerning a plan to resolve our philosophical differences and develop a more acceptable, comprehensive diversity plan." It also said a protest planned for Talladega this weekend would proceed.
    Ramsey Poston, NASCAR managing director of corporate communications, denied that NASCAR has negotiated any deal with the group. "We did call them," Poston said. "We want to speak with anyone who wants to talk about the issue of diversity or who wants to bring good ideas to the table." Maj. Patrick Manning, chief of Alabama's Highway Patrol division, said the suggested site for the demonstration is in a place that would be visible to fans arriving at the track without interrupting traffic flow into and out of the track.(

    October 1, 2004

  • 'The Preview' back in similar form for 2005: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center says tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday [Oct 2nd] for a Jan. 8, 2005, event that will bring NASCAR drivers and fans together for a health and fitness event. The event will run from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Wake Forest Baptist Fitness 500 will feature NASCAR drivers and crew members in a fitness competition and be followed by an auction and autograph session. Tickets are $15, and proceeds will benefit the center's Brenner Children’s Hospital. Among those scheduled to take part are NASCAR President Mike Helton, team owner Ray Evernham, retired drivers Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip and current drivers Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Dale Jarrett, Kenny Wallace, Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Jamie McMurray, Brendan Gaughan and Michael Waltrip. Tickets will go on sale at the coliseum box office, online at, at local Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (336) 722-6400. Wristbands for driver autograph sessions will be dispersed through a priority system based on the time of ticket purchase and are subject to availability.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-1-2004)

  • The Rumor that won't die UPDATE 2 more on Gaughan: Roger Penske has been testing three Cup drivers for a possible driver change for next season, and that clearly puts rookie #77-Brendan Gaughan on the hot seat.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2004)
    AND been told by many readers who were at Dover over the past weekend, that all Brendan Gaughan merchandise at the souvienir trailers at the track were selling at a 40% discount, usually a sign of a paint scheme. sponsor or driver change.(9-28-2004)
    UPDATE: In regards to the 40 percent price reduction on Brendan Gaughan's souvenir trailer at Dover, it is standard procedure for most souvenir companies to reduce prices towards the end of a season in order to facilitate the movement of inventory in preparation for the upcoming season.(Penske Racing)(9-30-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Racing South has the option for a two-year extension to Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan's contract but has not yet decided whether to exercise it, team co-founder Don Miller said Friday. "Brendan is in the #77 now, he'll be in it next week and through the end of the season," Miller said. Beyond that, Miller said the team had made no decisions. In the past week, reigning Craftsman Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil tested the #77 at Kansas last week which fueled speculation Gaughan's tenure at Penske is shaky. Gaughan has struggled this season. He is 32nd in points with one top-10 finish. He has failed to finish in eight races in 28 starts. Penske has four teams at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, entering the #06 Mobil 1 Dodge for Chad Blount, who has done extensive testing for the organization.(

  • More on Kvapil to Cup: 2003 Truck Series Champ, Travis Kvapil recently tested a Nextel Cup #77 Dodge for Penske-Jasper Racing at Kansas Speedway, and several weeks ago was rumored to be the replacement for Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan for the 2005 season. Kvapil has been rumored for some time in Silly Season to be negotiating a Nextel ride. He confirmed as much Wednesday in a telephone conversation but declined to identify the team or elaborate further. "Hopefully in about a week we can talk a lot more about it," Kvapil said. "Participation at the Nextel Cup level, I would say that's accurate. I can't really say a team or car just yet." But Kvapil said he is fully committed to his job with Bang Racing. Kvapil, who has five career Craftsman wins, said he and owner Alex Meshkin are focused on making the move to the Busch Series. "Sounds like he's got a majority of the sponsorship pretty well wrapped up and moving forward," Kvapil said. "I've been in the Truck Series for four years and feel like I'm ready for the next challenge. Bang Racing has the same goals as I do, they want to move up the ladder in the series, just like me." Kvapil is under contract with Bang Racing through the 2005 season, and said he would request Meshkin's approval before taking part in any Nextel Cup project. "Right now, I would say for sure that I'm going to be Busch Series racing next season. Anything beyond that is definitely up in the air."(paraphrased from the Capital Times)(10-1-2004)

  • Martinsville Testing: the following drivers are scheduled to test for the upcoming Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway:
    Oct. 5 - #97-Kurt Busch, #16-Greg Biffle, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmy Johnson, #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #40-Sterling Marlin
    Oct. 6 - #97-Kurt Busch, #21-Ricky Rudd, #48-Jimmy Johnson, #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #40-Sterling Marlin
    Oct. 12 - #17-Matt Kenseth, #01-Joe Nemechek and #10-Scott Riggs
    Oct. 13 - #01-Joe Nemechek and #10-Scott Riggs.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(10-1-2004)

  • Nemechek wins the pole at Talladega: 'Front Row' Joe Nemechek won the Budweiser pole for the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 190.749mph. It is Nemechek's 7th pole of his career, 3rd at Talladega and his first pole since October 13, 2000 at Talladega, 132 races ago. Starting 2nd is #21-Ricky Rudd after running 190-609mph, the rest of the top five are #88-Jarett, #10-Riggs and #24-Gordon. #19-Mayfield is the highest starting Dodge at 9th. Missing the race were #72-Shelmerdine, #80-Long and #37-Lepage. Some part-timers who made the race include: #02-Hermie Sadler, 11th; #11-Ricky Craven, 20th #33-Kerry Earnhardt, 22nd; #06-Chad Blount, 31st; #1-Kenny Wallace starts 43rd, the final provisional place. #99-Dave Blaney qualified 25th for Carl Edwards, who will practice the car some on Saturday and run the car on Sunday.
    For starting lineups/qualifying results, see:
    Jayski's Talladega Qualifying/Starting Lineup Page
    Motorsports One

  • Talladega Qualifying Notes: ---- Joe Nemechek won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Bud Pole for the EA Sports 500, lapping Talladega Superspeedway in 50.202 seconds at 190.749 mph. This is Nemechek's seventh career Bud Pole in 351 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races. His most recent Bud Pole came at Talladega on Oct. 13, 2000 - 133 races ago.
    ---- Nemechek became the 11th different Bud Pole winner in 2004. Jeff Gordon (six), Ryan Newman (five), Kasey Kahne (four), Casey Mears (two), Brian Vickers (two) and Jeremy Mayfield (two) are the drivers with more than one Bud Pole this season. Qualifying was canceled at Watkins Glen, second Michigan and second New Hampshire due to weather.
    ---- It is Nemechek's first Bud Pole and his 13th top-10 start in 2004. It is his third Bud Pole and seventh top-10 start in 20 races at Talladega.
    ---- Nemechek (fall 1999, 2000 and 2004) is one of the three repeat Bud Pole winner in the past 12 races at Talladega. Jeremy Mayfield (April 2003 and April 2000) and Stacy Compton (both races 2001) are the other repeat Bud Pole winners since 1998.
    ---- Nemechek also became the 10th different Bud Pole winner in the past 11 restrictor-plate races. Qualifying was canceled at Talladega in October 2002.
    ---- This is the third fastest restrictor-plate pole speed since Nemechek won the Bud Pole with a speed of 198.331 mph at Talladega in October 1999.
    ---- Ricky Rudd had the second-fastest time with a qualifying lap of 50.239 seconds at 190.609 mph and will join Nemechek on the front row. It is his 18th top-10 start in his 56 races at Talladega and his second on the front row this season. He won the Bud Pole for the Aaron's 499 in April.
    ---- This is 11th Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2004. Dodge has 13 Bud Poles and Ford has two.
    ---- Dale Jarrett (third) posted his sixth top-10 start in 2004. It is his 15th top-10 start in 36 races at Talladega.
    ---- Scott Riggs (fourth) posted his fifth top-10 start in 2004. He has posted top-10 starts in both of his races at Talladega.
    ---- Jeff Gordon (fifth) posted his 19th top-10 start in 2004, tying Ryan Newman for the most top-10s this season. It is Gordon's 13th top-10 start in his 24 races at Talladega.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-1-2004)

  • Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Talladega:
    You know we called him Front Row Joe for a reason (it'd just been awhile). Joe Nemechek grabbed the Bud Pole for Sunday's EA Sports 500 (it's in the game....don't you just find yourself saying that everytime you hear EA? Gotta make those marketing types smile all the way to the bank) with a speed of 190.749 mph (50.202 sec) to become the 11th qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. This was career pole #7 for Joe, but his first since he grabbed the top-spot when we were here in October of 2000!
    Ricky Rudd (2nd) was just edged out by less than 4/100ths of a second or he would have been a sweeper. This is his best starting spot since he had the pole when we were here in April.
    Dale Jarrett (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Dover in September of 2002.
    Scott Riggs (4th) tied his career-best qualifying effort today. He also started 4th when we were at Fontana in May.
    Hermie Sadler (11th, in the best equipment of his life) has his best starting spot since he started 8th at Martinsville in October of 2002.
    Ricky Craven (20th in a Joe Gibbs Chevy this weekend) has his best starting spot since he lined up 10th at Loudon in July.
    Chad Blount (31st in a Penske Dogde) has his career-best starting spot. He started 37th in his only other start at Chicagoland in July.
    STREAKIN....Jeremy Mayfield has 7 Top-10 starts in a row.
    Jeff Gordon has 7 Top-10 starts in the last 8 races.
    (Stock Car Fans Nextel Cup Newsletter)(10-1-2004)

  • Penske Stuff: Speculation about Brendan Gaughan's future in the #77 Dodge is rampant this week after Craftsman Truck Series driver Travis Kvapil tested the car at Kansas Speedway and Chad Blount was hired to drive a fourth Penske Racing South car at Talladega. Penske South president Don Miller said Blount got the ride as a reward for all the testing he's done for the team. "We are not grooming anyone for Rusty Wallace's or Brendan Gaughan's seat," Miller said. "This is simply a reward for a job well done." There has been no word on who will take Wallace's #2 Miller Lite Dodge when he steps out of it for good at the end of the 2005 season.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-1-2004)

  • If Dale Jr. was NASCAR Prez for a day: If Dale Earnhardt Jr. were NASCAR president for a day, he says he'd cut 75 percent of Nextel Cup races to 300 miles, drop the field from 43 to 38 cars and limit race weekends to two-day programs. In a column in this week's NASCAR Scene, Earnhardt Jr. also says he'd eliminate fan access to the garage area, limit Cup drivers to no more than five Busch Series or Craftsman Truck Series races and move the July race at Daytona International Speedway to the end of the season.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)
    AND did ya miss or see the CBS 60 Minutes interview with DaleEarnhardt Jr.? See information, images and a video clip at

  • more on the TV Ratings at Dover will be a bit difficult to gage as last year the race was on NBC [got a big volleyball game instead today], last years ratings at Dover on NBC was 4.2 rating and a 10 share. The story says the race drew 4,591,000 households, which was 27% more than 2002's household reach when the race was on TNT.(from my 2003 TV Ratings Page)(9-26-2004)
    2004 Dover Ratings: but can compare households watching, this week Nielsen and show the Nextel Cup race at Dover, the 2nd most watched show on cable, behind the NFL game on EPSN [Buccaneers/Raiders]. The race had a 3.2 Rating with 5,001,000 Total Viewers watching.
    HOWEVER: Zap2It shows those watching as 3,453,000 Audience and using the numbers at Nielsen 3.2 x 1,084,000 = 3,468,800 households.. Sixth on the list was something called Nextel/Dover Wreck on TNT, not sure what the heck that means, but it had a 2.9 cable rating and 4,605,000 total viewers watching, still up over last year on NBC. By the way, SpongeBob was 9th on the Nieson list at 2.7 and 2,995,000 and 4th on Zap2it with 3.0 3,268,000. this up, status quo or down?(9-29-2004)
    UPDATE: Nielsen Media Research's weekly ranking of ratings for television shows on cable channels shows that TNT's airing of last Sunday's MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway ranked second to an NFL game on ESPN. The Nextel Cup race drew a 3.2 national rating and 5,001,000 viewers to trail the NFL game between Tampa Bay and Oakland, which had a 6.4 rating and 9,436,000 viewers. Because the 2003 Dover race was broadcast on NBC, which reaches far more households than the cable outlet, direct comparisons of the figures aren't possible. But the 3.9 cable rating for the race was down 3 percent from 2002, when TNT also carried the event. The Philadelphia Daily News reports that the combined NBC/TNT ratings so far are a 4.3, up from 4.2 last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-1-2004)

  • Gillette Young Guns - EA Sports 500 Notes: By picking Ryan Newman as the top Gillette Young Gun finisher in the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26th, Jennifer D. of Beaumont, TX was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Jennifer picked Newman as the highest finishing Young Gun by going to and entering before the weekly deadline.
    As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Newman. This is the third time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Newman.
    The Gillette Young Guns are 14 for 28 in the win column so far in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have four victories, followed by Kurt Busch with three victories, then Matt Kenseth and Newman who have two victories apiece.
    For 24 of the 28 races run in 2004, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings have been led by four members of the Gillette Young Guns. Dale Earnhardt Jr. led for 10 weeks, Jimmie Johnson led for nine weeks, Matt Kenseth led for four weeks and Kurt Busch led for two weeks. Five members of the Gillette Young Guns have made the top-10 and been awarded a chance to battle for the Chase for the 2004 NEXTEL Cup. They are Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Clinched at Bristol), Matt Kenseth (Clinched at California), Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman (Clinch at Richmond). Earnhardt Jr. has competed in nine races at Talladega Superspeedway, scoring four victories and seven top-10 finishes. He has an 8.0 average finish at Talladega, the best among all drivers with more than five starts there. He finished second in this race one year ago and second there in April, extending a streak of seven top-10 finishes, the longest streak among active drivers there.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(10-1-2004)

    September 30, 2004

  • Bestwick injured, will miss Talladega: NASCAR on NBC & TNT play-by-play commentator Allen Bestwick is scheduled to undergo surgery today to repair a broken leg suffered last night in a hockey game near his home in Coventry, R.I. and will not call Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race from Talladega, Ala. Pre-race host and lead pit reporter Bill Weber will fill-in for Bestwick calling the race from the booth with analysts Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach. "Our thoughts are with Allen for a speedy recovery," said Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports. "Having a multi-talented guy like Bill able to step in at a moment's notice is a real luxury. It's a benefit to have a deep and talented team and be able to adjust when unfortunate circumstances like this arise." Weber, who has provided play-by-play on NASCAR Happy Hour broadcasts on TNT and AFL games on NBC, will host the pre-race show from a specially designed desk on the roof of the broadcast booth instead of his usual perch atop the NASCAR on NBC & TNT Wagon on pit road. Following the pre-race show, he will move to the booth to call the race with Parsons and Dallenbach. Pit reporters Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum will handle reporting duties on all 43 teams from the pits.(NBC PR), no word on where to send cards or get wells, but I have NBC, TNT addresses on my TV/Media Contact page and you can go to the Speed Channel site to the Inside Nextel Cup show page where there is an email link for the show.(9-30-2004)

  • Andretti and Johnson Set the Pace at Lowe's Testing: John Andretti and Jimmie Johnson led the unofficial speed parade at Lowe's Motor Speedway Wednesday night as 26 NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series teams wrapped up NASCAR testing for UAW-GM Quality 500 Week on Oct. 13-16. The unofficial stopwatches caught Andretti's #14 ppc Racing Ford at 181.751 mph, just a tick faster than the lap he recorded to top the NEXTEL Cup speed chart during Tuesday night's testing session. The cars Andretti drove were recently purchased from Robert Yates Racing and veteran Yates crew members Pete Peterson and Frank Good were among those assisting ppc Racing's new crew chief, Dave Charpentier. Andretti and the ppc Racing team are scheduled to make their debut in the UAW-GM Quality 500 Saturday night, Oct. 16, at Lowe's Motor Speedway and full details of the effort, including a sponsor, are expected to be revealed in the next two weeks.
    On the NASCAR Busch Series side of the garage, Johnson showed there is a distinct possibility he could drive the #48 SpongeBob SquarePants Chevrolet to victory in the Lowe's presents The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 on Friday night, Oct. 15. Johnson's best unofficial lap at 179.850 mph was nearly two miles per hour quicker than the second-fastest car and was considerably faster than the speed he topped the charts with on Tuesday. There were no spins or accidents and the only caution flag came late in the five-hour session when Robby Benton's Busch Series car dropped oil on the track.
    Testing for UAW-GM Quality 500 Week events continues Tuesday evening, Oct. 5, when the stock cars of the American Speed Association take to the track in preparation for the Aaron's 99 on Thursday night, Oct. 14. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title contender Mark Martin, a four-time ASA champion, is among those scheduled to participate.
    Tickets for all October events at Lowe's Motor Speedway are still available and can be obtained online at or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.
    NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Speeds:
    #14-John Andretti, 181.751;
    #45-Kyle Petty, 178.921;
    #0-Ward Burton, 177.474;
    #5-Terry Labonte, 176.829;
    #13-Greg Sacks, 175.171.
    NASCAR Busch Series speeds:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 179.850;
    #60-Greg Biffle, 177.971;
    #20-Mike Bliss, 176.846;
    #8-Martin Truex Jr., 176.586;
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 176.534;
    #41-Casey Mears, 176.384;
    #5-Kyle Busch, 176.298;
    #27-Johnny Sauter, 175.833;
    #22-Jason Keller, 175.376;
    #31-Todd Bodine, 31, 174.076.(LMS PR)(9-30-2004)

  • Atlanta Testing starts today with Kenny Wallace UPDATE: many Nextel Cup teams have scheduled tests for the next three weeks at Atlanta Motor Speedway as drivers prepare for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend, the seventh of 10 races in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. Kenny Wallace will kick off testing season tomorrow by practicing his #1 Aaron's Chevrolet for the Oct. 31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 NEXTEL Cup race. Wallace's test will serve a dual purpose, as he will be competing in both the Oct. 30 Aaron's 312 and the Oct. 31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Next week the testing will begin in earnest, as Jeff Green is scheduled to test his #43 Cheerios car for Petty Enterprises on Monday, Oct. 4. The General Motors NASCAR Craftsman truck teams will take over on Tuesday, Oct. for a two-day test, as they get a head start on next year's two Craftsman Truck races at Atlanta. The Ford Craftsman Truck teams will be doing the same during a one-day test Monday, Oct. 11. On Tuesday, Oct. 12, Dawsonville native and local racing hero Bill Elliott will return to Atlanta for a two-day test in his #98 McDonald's car. Elliott, who has run a limited schedule this year, will be returning to the driver's seat for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at his home track. Roush Racing will follow on Elliott's heels, coming to Atlanta on Monday, Oct. 18 for a one-day test. With two drivers - #17-Matt Kenseth and #97-Kurt Busch - in the hunt for the championship, this will be an extremely important test session for the team. Nemco Motorsports will round out this fall's testing with a two-day session beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 19. All of these drivers will just be warming up for their big events during the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. Great seats are still available, with three-day ticket packages starting at just $69, from the ticket office at (770) 946-4211.
    AND see Atlanta Motor Speedway's new website at
    UPDATE: Kenny Wallace led off the testing spree with his #00 Aaron's Chevrolet on Tuesday at AMS as he prepared his car for the Oct. 31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, the seventh of 10 races in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. The Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta is one of a handful of races that Wallace will drive for Michael Waltrip Racing in the team's fledgling NEXTEL Cup effort. Wallace spent the first half of Tuesday's test session working on race set-ups, then quickly turned to qualifying trim for the rest of the day. His fastest lap of the day was 30.35 seconds (183.143 mph), or roughly in the neighborhood that most teams reach during testing at Atlanta.(AMS PR)(9-30-2004)

    September 29, 2004

  • Special Mag: The Sporting News has produced a special ''Chase for the Nextel Cup Magazine.'' The 136-page magazine provides analysis and previews of all 10 Chase races, profiles of the 10 title contenders, and other info. It is available at most news outlets and available online at

  • More Kansas Testing...look who tested the #77: From PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show... #8-Dale Earnhardt jr. has just wrapped up a two day test at the Kansas Speedway along with #99-Carl Edwards, #30-Jeff Burton, #97-Kurt Busch and #17-Matt Kenneth. Continuing to fuel speculation about his future with Penske South, Brendan Gaughan's team was out there but Brendan wasn't behind the wheel of the #77 Kodak Dodge. Instead it was Reigning Truck Series champ Travis Kvapil, who crashed the primary car In turn three today. He finished the practice in the back-up.(9-29-2004)

  • New Stock Car Racing Movie in the works: A North Carolina production company plans to make a movie about the roots of stock car racing called "Run Lightning." Filming is expected to begin April1, 2005. Former driver Ned Jarrett has lent his expertise to the project.(Roanoke Times)
    AND An action-adventure movie about moonshining and the early days of Southern stock-car racing appears to be on the fast track for shooting here next year. The independent feature "Run Lightning," written by the husband-and-wife team of Joseph and Julia Gunnels of Asheville, NC, will open a production office in December and begin principal photography in April 2005. The Gunnels are longtime local residents who have been active in theater and the arts. No casting has been announced - and it is too early for locals to be looking for work - but the feature plans to shoot almost entirely in Western North Carolina. Locations have been scouted in Madison and Buncombe counties and elsewhere in the mountains. The movie, which has incorporated as Run Lighting Productions LLC, has a proposed budget of $15 million to $18 million, said Joseph Gunnels. The budget is not nearly as high as a Hollywood production, which could be $60 million and up, but is within the scope of an independent feature, said N.C. Film Commissioner Bill Arnold. Consultants on the movie include NASCAR racing legend Ned Jarrett, who won 348 races in a career that started in the early 1950s and ended in the mid 1960s when he was only 34. He won 50 races, including the 1965 Southern 500. Today, he is a racing broadcaster. "I've felt for a long time there needed to be an authentic film telling the story of the last days of moonshine running and how stock-car racing became the most popular racing series in the world," Jarrett said in a statement released by the film's producers. "Run Lightning" would be the latest in a long string of motion pictures shot in Asheville and WNC. The most recent was the Robert Redford thriller "The Clearing," which filmed locally in fall 2002, and was released this summer. "Run Lightning," which opens and closes in the present day, is mostly set in 1956 in Marshall, where a young man "runs whiskey to pay for his passion of racing cars," Joseph Gunnels said. "It's about the tension between justice and tradition." The Gunnels have been working on "Run Lightning" since 1999, gathering material, polishing the script and making major-league movie connections including veteran production consultant Jeff Dowd, who has been working in film for a quarter of a century. Most of Dowd's work has been as a producer's representative and creative consultant working with independent filmmakers. Gunnels shopped the project to Hollywood studios, but instead decided to develop "Run Lightning" as an independent film and shoot it in WNC.(Citizen-Times), news on past racing themed movies on my Racing Movie's page.(9-29-2004)

  • Microsoft donates to Victory Junction: The Victory Junction Gang Camp, which provides year-round camp sessions for children aged 7-15 with life-threatening illnesses, celebrates an ongoing partnership with Microsoft Corporation with the announcement of a significant software grant. Microsoft's donation includes more than $122,000 in software and services, along with eight Xbox gaming systems to be installed in the racing simulators in Adam's Race Shop, one of Victory Junction Gang Camp's signature buildings. These simulators allow campers to learn about various aspects of professional stock car racing by allowing up to eight campers to race virtually against each other and the stars of NASCAR at the same time. "We are so thankful for what Microsoft has done for our camp," said NASCAR legend Richard Petty. "Our goal is for the kids who come to Victory Junction to have the chance to do things they have never been able to do before. With this donation, Microsoft has helped us achieve that goal." Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded by Richard Petty's son, NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, and Kyle's wife, Pattie, in honor of their late son, Adam. The 75-acre site opened on June 20, 2004 and houses a total of 32 buildings, including a dining hall, gym, pool, theater, therapeutic equestrian center, arts and crafts center, race shop and cabins. The camp also offers a sophisticated, professionally-staffed medical facility capable of administering to the campers' special needs, including chemotherapy treatment.
    A check presentation for Microsoft's software donation will be held Thursday, September 30 at the Victory Junction Gang Camp's Silver Theater, 4500 Adam's Way. In addition to NASCAR's Richard Petty and Victory Junction Gang Camp staff and campers, Microsoft PSS General Manager Fred Rubino and Microsoft Southeast District Business Marketing Officer John Carpenter will be on hand to support the event. Following the grant announcement, Microsoft employees will help complete various special projects at the camp as part of Microsoft Corporation's Day of Caring. "Microsoft is thrilled to support the Victory Junction Gang Camp through this software donation and the Day of Caring," said Microsoft Southeast District General Manager Kirsten Kliphouse. "Victory Junction provides children with an exciting opportunity to meld technology with imagination, and we're proud to be a part of that excitement in every facet."(Victory Junction Gang Camp PR), also of note, the donations for Jayski's Computer Lab are up to 230 contributions totaling $26,547.71 (of $75,000), THANK YOU! No takers on the Jayski Bandalero or the old Tbird, both which are for sale.(9-29-2004)

  • Busch's Pit Crew Takes Top Honors in Dover: Kurt Busch's pit crew captured the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade in Sunday's MBNA America 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It was the fourth victory of the season that Busch's team has won the $20,000 weekly prize. The other three victories were in Las Vegas, Martinsville and the July race in New Hampshire. With eight Nextel Cup races remaining, Elliott Sadler's pit crew continues to cling to the McDonald's/POWERade points lead and the chase for the $200,000 champion's bonus. Sadler's crew has a 19-point lead - 1007 to 988 -- over the pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Busch's crew is third with 978 points. Busch's No. 97 Sharpie Ford spent the least amount of time on Dover's pit road - 197.353 seconds. Michael Waltrip's No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet came in second with a time of 198.824. Ricky Rudd's No. 21 "Keep It Genuine" Ford was third at 199.386. "These Sharpie guys did a great job on Sunday," said crew chief Jimmy Fennig. "We had a lot of changes going on to keep up with the car during the stops, and the over-the-wall guys really hit their marks. Pit stops are just as important as anything else in this "Chase" deal, so to win the McDonald's/POWERade competition shows that we're doing that part right." Busch's over-the-wall crew consists of: Scott Ward (front tire changer), Mark Full (front tire carrier), Kevin Gilman (rear tire changer), Jason Binger (rear tire carrier), Doug Newell (gasman), Scott Radel (jackman) and Jim Gaudette (catch can).(DMF Communications), for the top-10 and season standings, see my Pit Crew Page.(9-29-2004)

  • PRN to Produce First Kids' Radio Broadcast For Lowe's presents The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 Performance Racing Network will produce a live radio broadcast especially for children of the Lowe's presents The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 on Friday night, Oct. 15, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Veteran broadcasters Mike Joy of Fox Sports and Stephanie Durner of PRN's "Sunday Drive" will team with teenage race car drivers to deliver the NASCAR Busch Series race with unique features tailored for younger race fans. Sixteen-year-old Legends Car racer Chrissy Wallace, daughter of NASCAR driver Mike Wallace, and 15-year-old Bandolero racer Jessie Johnson, brother of NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, will join Joy and Durner in the broadcast booth. Teenagers will also handle reporting duties with Kyle Whisenant delivering stories from the infield and Megan McMillan roaming as a feature correspondent. "This will be the first time a radio network produces a race broadcast geared specifically toward kids and utilizes teenage talent," stated Doug Rice, vice president and general manager of the Performance Racing Network. "Nickelodeon's sponsorship of this race with Lowe's has increased NASCAR's awareness with a younger audience. This broadcast will offer a complete new perspective as we hear the race described by young people who understand racing and who have competed at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Who knows? Maybe SpongeBob SquarePants himself will join us behind the microphone!"
    The Lowe's presents The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 kids' broadcast will begin at 7:45 p.m. with live flag-to-flag coverage exclusively in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Charlotte radio markets on HITZ 94.1 FM.(LMS PR)(9-29-2004)

  • Testing at Lowe's Motors Speedway UPDATE Tuesday Speeds: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series teams will test at Lowe's Motor Speedway Tuesday, Sept. 28, and Wednesday, Sept. 29, in preparation for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 16, and the Lowe's presents The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 on Friday night, Oct. 15. Testing will run from 5:00 to 10:00pm/et each day/night.
    Participants: In order for NASCAR teams to participate in the testing sessions, they must request a voucher from NASCAR. As of noon today, teams fielding cars for the following drivers had requested a voucher for at least one day of the two-day session.
    NEXTEL Cup Series: #14-John Andretti, #16-Greg Biffle, #0-Ward Burton, ?-Larry Foyt, #24-Jeff Gordon, #93-Steve Grissom and #5-Terry Labonte.
    Busch Series: Robby Benton, #60-Greg Biffle, #20-Mike Bliss, #31-Todd Bodine, #5-Kyle Busch, #49-Derrike Cope, Kertus Davis, #43-Aaron Fike, #36-Travis Geisler, #55-Robby Gordon, John Graham, #26-Mark Green, #24-Steve Grissom, #2-Ron Hornaday, #48-Jimmie Johnson [spongebob], #22-Jason Keller, #19-Bobby Labonte, cott Lynch, #05-Eric McClure, #41-Casey Mears, Brandon Miller, #47-Robert Pressley, #27-Johnny Sauter, #8-Martin Truex Jr. and #4-Mike Wallace.
    Spectators: Lowe's Motor Speedway's main grandstand will be open free of charge during both testing sessions. Fans should enter through Gate 5A next to the ticket office on the second floor of Smith Tower.(LMS PR)(9-26/28-2004)
    UPDATE: John Andretti and Jimmie Johnson topped the unofficial speed charts Tuesday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway as 22 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series teams took to the 1.5-mile superspeedway in preparation for UAW-GM Quality 500 Week Oct. 13-16. Making his maiden voyage in the #14 Ford fielded by ppc Racing, Andretti was caught on the unofficial watches at 180.222 mph to lead the six NEXTEL Cup teams participating in the five-hour session. With the new team having no provisional starting spots at its disposal, crew chief and veteran engineer Dave Charpentier first focused on getting Andretti comfortable in the car; then searched for the required speed to make the 43-car starting field for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 16. On the NASCAR Busch Series side of the garage, Johnson's #48 SpongeBob SquarePants Chevrolet was fastest as 16 teams prepared for the Lowe's presents The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 on Friday night, Oct. 15. The caution flag was never unfurled as the entire session was run without incident.
    Testing continues Wednesday evening at Lowe's Motor Speedway and fans can watch the action from the main grandstand free of charge. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series drivers will again share the track from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series speeds:
    #14-John Andretti [ppc Racing], 180.222;
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 178.968;
    #0-Ward Burton, 178.701;
    #16-Greg Biffle, 178.371;
    #5-Terry Labonte, 176.962;
    #13-Greg Sacks, 173.678
    NASCAR Busch Series speeds:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 176.678;
    #20-Mike Bliss, 176.378;
    #55-Robby Gordon, 176.056;
    #5-Kyle Busch, 175.308;
    #19-Bobby Labonte, 175.137.(LMS PR)(9-29-2004)

  • Ward Busy in Alabama: #0-Ward Burton will be involved in two events for the state of Alabama after Saturday's practice. Burton will be meeting with the governor/staff and other Alabama conservation notables and will be filming a Public Service Announcement for the Alabama 4H. The topic for the PSA will be firearm safety and hunting ethics. The 4H has over seven million members ages 9-19 nationwide including over 160,000 members in the state of Alabama. • Burton will also be filming a PSA for the Alabama Game Department concerning hunting and tree stand safety.(NetZero Racing PR)(9-29-2004)

  • TONIGHT - Dale Jr. on 60 minutes Wed; Says Dad saved him from fire: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet, will be featured on the season premiere of the weekday edition of 60 Minutes. The episode begins Wednesday night at 8:00 pm Eastern on CBS-TV. Earnhardt Jr. is the first NASCAR driver to be featured on the prestigious news magazine show in nearly 20 years. Dale Jr. was interviewed by legendary correspondent Mike Wallace in Daytona (where he drove the 86-year-old reporter for a few brisk laps around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway in a 2005 Corvette C6). Wallace also interviewed Dale Jr., the current point leader in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings, at his home and office near Mooresville, NC. The segment in Mooresville is the first in-depth interview with Earnhardt Jr. after his crash in a sports car practice session in July. This marks the fourth appearance on CBS-TV for the 29-year-old Earnhardt in 2004. He also appeared on the CBS sitcom "Yes, Dear," as well as "Late Night with David Letterman" and "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn."(fingerprint inc. PR)
    AND In an interview that will be broadcast Wednesday night on the season premiere of CBS' "60 Minutes," Nextel Cup Series fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. says his deceased father may have played a role in saving him from a fiery sports car crash earlier this season. Earnhardt's father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., was killed in a wreck on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. In an wide-ranging interview with CBS' Mike Wallace, Earnhardt Jr. said it was his father who helped him escape from the burning car in July.(See full story at

  • Craven in the #11 Gibbs car at Talladega UPDATE: Ricky Craven will drive Joe Gibbs Racing's third car this weekend in the EA Sports 500 Nextel Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Craven, 38, who earlier this season was released from the last two years of his contract with PPI Motorsports, will drive JGR's #11 Old Spice Chevrolet as a team car to the Chase for the Nextel Cup contending Tony Stewart's #20 Home Depot Chevy and Bobby Labonte's #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy. The #11 will be a full-time program in 2005, but the Gibbs organization has yet to make an announcement of its driver or crew chief [supposedly Jason Leffler driving and Dave Rogers as the crew chief]. Late Tuesday afternoon, Gibbs Racing updated its entry and named veteran mechanic Philippe Lopez as Craven's crew chief. Lopez has worked at JGR for about a month since coming from Bill Davis Racing.(
    UPDATE: "I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a lot of fun," said Craven, reached by phone. "I'm going to use this opportunity to explore options for next year." JGR's rookie J.J. Yeley was originally scheduled to run the race, but was apparently pulled because of concerns over his lack of superspeedway experience, sources said.(

  • Testing at Kansas UPDATE: Jeff Burton and the #30 AOL Race Team are testing at Kansas Speedway Tues., Sept. 28 and Wed., Sept. 29 for the upcoming Banquet 400 Oct. 10. Been told some Roush teams are also testing at the track, #97-Busch was scheduled to test at Kansas.(9-28-2004)
    UPDATE: also been told, testing were #17-Matt Kenseth, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #99-Carl Edwards, #49-Kenny Schrader, #30-Jeff Burton, and #18-Bobby Labonte. Also, the #26 KCR/LoveFiFi Busch Series car driven by Mark Green.(9-29-2004)

    September 28, 2004

  • New Racing Simulator Technology Puts You “In the Driver Seat” for Real! Motorsports Image, a racing industry manufacturing company, has recently invented and designed a new motion based simulator that adds movement to racing games inside the actual racecars. What the company has done is invented a compact motion based simulator that can be mounted inside a racing showcar making the real drivers seat move to the action of the game. The first unit the company built was purchased by Coca Cola and is currently being used successfully at retail store appearances across the U.S.A. The second Sim Showcar the company built has two seats inside the racecar that move to the game letting both drivers compete against each other while feeling the racing action in their individual seats.
    Now here’s the real “kicker”. The Simulator Showcar (as called by Motorsports Image the Sim/Showcar) can be an actual running full size racecar/showcar. The Sim Showcar cranks, runs, makes all the engine sounds every race fan loves. Then when the engine is turned off, and the racecar is parked, the racecar turns into a racing simulator experience for all to enjoy. Quite amazing! The Coca Cola Sim Showcar even did a parade lap around Lowe’s Motor Speedway prior to the Coca Cola 600 race this past May. The Coke Sim Showcar then went on later to operate as a simulator at various locations around the Charlotte N.C. area.
    Motorsports Image based in Mooresville N.C. (“Race City U.S.A.) has been manufacturing racing related products for almost a decade. The company has been specializing in producing the finest showcars known in the Motorsports industry for the major companies in NASCAR racing. Their regular clients consist of: Penske, Yates, Team Rensi, ppc Racing, just to name a few. They also produce décor replica hoods, wall and ceiling hanging racecars, the famous cut-away racecars as seen on television, plus many other unique products. Portable Racing Simulator Rolls into Store Promotions across the U.S.A.
    The Motorsports Image Sim/Showcar will also be featured at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Trade Show to be held November 17th-20th 2004. A Sim Showcar was displayed at last years IAAPA Show and received an overwhelming amount of attention. Since that debut, a refinement process was developed bringing the company up to the first units purchased by Coca Cola.
    Motorsports Image now has two Sim Showcars available for appearances and rentals. Those two units made their first appearance for the Motorola Corporation at a company event, held recently at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. The Sim Showcars were linked so that people could race each other from one racecar to the other, another outstanding feature of this new invention. The racing action is also displayed on outside monitors for all to see. For more information about the Motorsports Image, contact the company’s main headquarters at 704-663-1023 or by visiting their web site at: the full PR at the Motorsports Images site)(9-28-2004)

  • Blount to drive a 4th Penske car at Talladega: Chad Blount, an Indiana native who has been testing for Penske Racing South for the last 1 ½ years, will drive a fourth Penske-prepared car [#06 Dodge] at Talladega Superspeedway for the Oct. 3 EA Sports 500. "Chad has done an outstanding job testing cars for DaimlerChrysler and for us and, therefore, deserves this chance we are giving him at Talladega," Penske Racing South President Don Miller said. "We are not grooming anyone for Rusty Wallace's or Brendan Gaughan's seat. This is simply a reward for a job well done." For the Talladega effort, Penske Racing South head engineer Roy McCauley will be Blount's crew chief and Matt McSwain his car chief. Also serving on the crew are mechanics Corey Tucker and David Dembicki. The pit crew consists of: Dustin Coonfield, front tire changer; Michael Warren, front tire carrier; Mark Padgett, jackman; Chris Hladik, rear tire changer; Corey Sain, rear tire carrier; Sam Ownsby, catch can; Jason Rogers, gasman; and David Doyle, 2nd gas can and sign board. A sponsor for the effort hasn't been acquired, but discussions are ongoing. During the last year and a half, while competing in selected ARCA and Busch Series events, Blount has tested for Penske, primarily at Kentucky Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, and Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Earlier this year, Blount finished seventh in the ARCA season opener at Daytona International Speedway in a car fielded by Braun Racing. In May at Charlotte, he qualified 20th for the Busch Series race in a car fielded by Hirschfeld Motorsports and ran in the top 10 for most of the race before having to settle for a 34th-place finish after cutting a tire and hitting the wall. Blount made his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut in the July 11 Tropicana 400 in a #37 Dodge owned by John Carter and Roger Craven. He qualified 37th and practiced in the top 15, but he finished 43rd due to electrical problems in the car. The Walkerton, Ind., native made his Busch Series debut at Daytona in 2003. That season he competed in 13 races for Braun Racing, with whom he raced in ARCA, and six for Jesel Racing. His six races with Jesel included driving the 100th anniversary Miller High Life -sponsored car in the June 29 race at the Milwaukee Mile. After the race, then Miller Brewing Co. Motorsports Manager Sigmund Wysocki said Blount was a "very talented and personable young man."(Penske Racing PR)(9-28-2004)

  • #40 scheme at Talladega: Multi-platinum selling country group Rascal Flatts will once again join Sterling Marlin and the Coors Light team to bring some country charm to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Marlin's #40 Coors Light Dodge will sport a special Rascal Flatts paint scheme in Talladega supporting the group's new album, "Feels Like Today", that hit music stores nationwide today.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(9-28-2004)

  • Double Duty for Edwards..some jet settin', Blaney to qualify the #99: Carl Edwards will pull double duty this weekend. He will practice and qualify his #99 Superchips truck on Friday in California, fly to Talladega that evening for Saturday morning's drafting practice in the Nextel Cup Series, then fly back to California for the race on Saturday night. He will depart for Talladega again immediately after the truck race. Carl Edwards on California: "I'm excited for the race. I think running the Cup race there earlier this month got me a lot of experience that is really going to pay off in the truck. It's going to be fast racing under the lights since it's a temperature-sensitive race track. There will be more grip so it will be harder on the trucks. It will be a real test on the engines and the set-ups. It will be another weekend with a lot of travel. I'll be going back and forth between California and Talladega. The truck is still my priority. We may have lost a few points at Las Vegas last week, but this Superchips team is still a big factor in the championship. We still have six races left to make up the 125-point deficit." Dave Blaney will practice and qualify the #99 Roush Racing Ford on Friday. Per NASCAR rules, Edwards will start at the back of the field for Sunday's race since Blaney will qualify the car. - This will be the first time Edwards has raced at Talladega Superspeedway however; Edwards did test at the track last week in the #17 DeWalt Ford.(Roush Racing PR)(9-28-2004)

  • American Thunder's roar is gone: got this from the Magazine Amercian Thunder today....."Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are writing to inform you that as of this communication, American Thunder will no longer be published. We have spent the last month in discussions with potential purchasers. We contacted a number of very interested parties, but given the short time frame and financial constraints in the publishing world, we were not able to find a buyer in time. As we have just come to this unfortunate conclusion, we are sorry that we do not have more information or details to provide to you at this time. We are exploring liquidation and dissolution alternatives and will keep you informed as events dictate during this process." No word on what happens with subscribers and if they will get refunds, contact info at their site

  • Sponsor for Edwards at Atlanta:
    Roush Racing announced that World Financial Group, Inc. (WFG) will sponsor Carl Edwards and the #99 Roush Racing Ford at the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in October. World Financial Group will appear as the primary sponsor on the #99 Ford for the Halloween race weekend. This will be the first time World Financial Group has appeared as a primary sponsor on a NEXTEL Cup car. The #99 team is planning to test at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Atlanta race weekend. Earlier this year Edwards raced the #99 Superchips F-150 to a seventh place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway after qualifying third. With three top-10 finishes in just six NEXTEL Cup starts, Edwards looks to be on the fast track to chalking up another strong finish at one of the circuit's fastest tracks. About World Financial Group, Inc.(Roush Racing PR)(9-28-2004)

  • Special Hood for Bobby Labonte at Talladega: Bobby Labonte's 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet will have the name of Camus Auto, an Interstate Batteries dealer from Derby, N.Y., on the hood of the car for the EA Sports 500 Oct. 3 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. IBS of Greater Buffalo, the Interstate Batteries distributorship that services Camus Auto, will also be on the special hood at Talladega. Both were winners of Interstate Batteries' unique "500 Miles of Fame" promotion, an effort by Interstate officials to increase sales and give their dealers and distributors a chance to have their name on the Interstate Batteries hood for a race weekend. Dave Camus, of Camus Auto and Todd Winder of IBS of Greater Buffalo will receive a paid trip to the EA Sports 500 and will meet Labonte on race morning. Camus, whose father operated Camus Auto for more than 30 years, expects the exposure to help his already well-respected business. Interstate Batteries and Joe Gibbs Racing have one of the longest-running major sponsorship relationships in NEXTEL Cup racing having been together since 1991. The company sponsored Dale Jarrett's car when he won the 1993 Daytona 500 as well as when Labonte won the 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship and the 2000 Brickyard 400. More info at ther web and Assoc./JGR PR), see an image of the hood on my #18 Team Paint Schemes page.(9-28-2004)

  • Sad News: Mrs. Irene "Jack" Ridley, 82, of Chatsworth, passed away Saturday, Sept. 25, 2004, at Hamilton Medical Center. She was preceded in death by her husband, Murphy Ridley; granddaughter, Lisa Ridley; son-in-law, Michael Burkett; and parents, Andrew and Syble Johns. Survivors include sons and daughters-in-law, Ralph and Ruby Ridley, Biddle and Brenda Ridley, [former NASCAR driver] Jody and Margaret Ridley, and David Ridley; daughters and son-in-law, Faye and Danny Deal, and Linda Burkett; 13 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, brother and sister-in-law, Howard and Lillian Johns of Dalton; sister, Ora Bell Brogan of Ooltewah, Tenn.; nieces and nephews. Services are today at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Peeples Funeral Home with the Rev. Shane Craven officiating. Burial will follow in Treadwell Cemetery, concluding with the White Dove Release.(Daily Citizen)(9-28-2004)

  • Special Texaco/Davey scheme at 'Dega UPDATE: #42-Jamie McMurray will run another special Texaco/Havoline retro paint scheme at Talladega in October to celebrate the life of Davey Allison and the 2004 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame.(RacingOne)(6-12-2004)
    UPDATE - The "Rising Star" is Set to Shine this Weekend in Talladega: Texaco/Havoline Racing is continuing its year-long 100th birthday celebration this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray will sport a retro "Rising Star" paint scheme on his #42 Dodge. The design resembles the one that the late Davey Allison competed with during the 1990 season [see an image of the scheme on the #42 Team Paint Scheme Page]. McMurray will continue Texaco/Havoline's commitment to heritage when he joins Liz, Robbie and Krista Allison, along with Benny Parsons and Richard Petty this Saturday night at the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in Talladega, Ala. McMurray will help induct Kyle Petty into the Walk of Fame.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(9-28-2004)

  • 35th Areo Warrior Reunion: The big 35th Areo Warrior Anniversary Reunion / Daytona Superbird Auto Club 2004 at Talladega is scheduled for September 30th through October 3rd, 2004. The cars will make a parade lap around 9:30am/ct [10:30am/et] on Sunday, Oct 3rd. Some of the drivers attending who have driven or had something to do with one of the Winged Cars include Charlie Glotzbach, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker, George Wallace [former race engineer with Chrysler Corporation], Charlie Gray [formerly of Ford], Larry Rathgeb [Chrysler], Bill Holbrook [Ford], John Bach [Former Holman-Moody and Wood Brothers crewman], and Steve Lehto who has just written a book on Bobby Isaac. More info at either: or

  • Hermie leases a car from Yates for Talladega: #02-Hermie Sadler and East Tennessee Trailers have partnered together for several NEXTEL Cup races this season, but both are eagerly awaiting next weekends EA SPORTS 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. At Talladega, Sadler's SCORE Motorsports team will be leasing a Ford from Robert Yates Racing, whose record on restrictor plate races rivals anyone in the business. Sadler knows this is a great opportunity for himself and his team. "Our season has not been what we had hoped for to this point," Sadler said. "But this race is a chance for our team to show what we can do and turn our season around. Just the thought of driving a Yates car at Talladega is a dream come true." Jack Bailey, President of East Tennessee Trailers, who has sponsored Sadler in several NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series races this season, said this was too good to pass up. "We have always been confident in the ability of Hermie and his team," Bailey said. "We are excited to join them for this race. We are as excited to have East Tennessee Trailers on the side of a Robert Yates prepared car as Hermie is to drive it." East Tennessee Trailers is the nations value leader in enclosed cargo trailers. Its manufacturing facility is located in Oneida, Tennessee. They specialize in not only trailers for racing, but lawn care, construction, motorcycles and many other uses. For more information, please visit Motorsports PR)(9-28-2004)

    September 27, 2004

  • #41 in the Pink for 3 races....for a good cause: In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Target Chip Ganassi Racing will unveil new paint schemes for their race cars competing in both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Indy Racing League's IndyCar series during the month of October. In partnership with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), Target will use the team's race cars as vehicles to help promote breast cancer awareness to racing fans across the country. Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver Casey Mears will take the helm of a pink #41 Dodge for three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in October, which include Talladega (October 3rd), Kansas (October 10th) and Martinsville (October 24th). "It's great to know that we have the opportunity to make a difference in so many lives and help The Breast Cancer Research Foundation," said Mears. "I've driven a red car, a black car and a green car, but this is definitely my first time driving a pink car. It's an honor to represent Target and play a role in their initiative to raise awareness and money for a foundation that will ultimately save lives." In addition to the pink ribbon paint schemes, the Target team will make a donation to BCRF for every lap completed in each of the four races by drivers Mears, IRL Drivers Scott Dixon, and Darren Manning (NASCAR and IRL) for up to a total of $50,000. All Target Racing team members in both series will also take part in the promotion by wearing pink ribbons on their firesuits or crew shirts to show their support to those touched by breast cancer, as well as raise awareness and encourage fans to help raise vital funds for BCRF. The team website will undergo a pink make-over for the entire month as well. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Target also will unveil an exclusive line of beautiful pink items this October. One hundred percent of the profits benefit BCRF. The full line of products is available online at, with select items available in stores. For donations or more information on The Breast Cancer Research Foundation see Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(9-27-2004)

  • Gordon sets new record? have done some research on this, been told by a few readers that Jeff Gordon broke a record by finishing 3rd at Dover on Sunday. It was his 20th top-10 finish of the 2004 season, making it 10 straight years that Gordon has had at least 20 top-10 finishes in a season, starting in 1995. Lee Petty had 9 straight seasons [had 19 in 1952]. The following drivers stats were checked and didn't accomplish the feat. Richard Petty [who has 18 total seasons of 20 or more Top-10's and had 43 in 1964 in 61 races, but had a 14 race season in 1965 and 'only' 17 in 1973, that broke up the streak], Dale Earnhardt had 11 20 Top-10 seasons scattered throughout 22 full seasons. Ned Jarrett in 1964, 1965 and Joe Weatherly 1962 hold the record for the most Top 10's with 45.(9-27-2004)

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

  • Ford Engines Ready for Talladega: Robert Yates Racing engine builder Doug Yates says the Ford Racing Engines will have something for the Chevrolets of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Hendrick Motorsports this Sunday at Talladega. "We will have the new cylinder heads for all eight Fords," Yates says. "We've seen improvement with the testing we've done."(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-27-2004)

  • Martin has no plans to end of 2004: Mark Martin is 45 years old. Mark Martin finished second in the MBNA America 400 on Sunday after winning at Dover in June. Mark Martin is fifth in the Nextel Cup points standings. And Mark Martin is not going anywhere, even if he wins his first points title this season. "About the only way I'd consider retiring is if I finished 40th in the points," Martin said after his 17th top-five finish in his 37th Cup start at Dover. "It's a good thing to be challenging to win. If I had a year like last year ... I was pretty miserable. We have some things to sort out over the next four to six weeks, but retirement's not what I'm sorting out. I know a lot of people are speculating that, but that's not exactly it."(Delaware News Journal)(9-27-2004)

  • Sponsor Saves Robby's Gig; to the #00 in 2005?: Car owner Richard Childress was ready to release driver Robby Gordon last week after his run-in at Loudon, N.H., but sponsors intervened on Gordon's behalf, according to sources close to Gordon. Gordon has been toying with the idea of expanding his Busch operation into a full Cup operation next season. However, he's also under consideration for the ride with Gene Haas [#00 NetZero Chevy], depending on what Haas and current driver Ward Burton do, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2004)

  • Some Qualifying Notes AND Official Suspended: Never saw this before, in an odd twist, #30-Jeff Burton and #22-Scott Wimmer were allowed to requalify as the NASCAR Official who was supposed to take the cowl cover off the cars, failed to do so on the #22 and #30, so NASCAR let them requalify. Burton ran 154.759 [would had been good for 36th fastest] the first time and 155.273 in the requalify attempt [33rd]. Wimmer ran 154.063 [would had been good for 39th and provisional land] the first time and 155.682 in the requalify attempt [29th].(9-24-2004)
    AND NASCAR has temporarily suspended official Don Berry, following a mix-up on pit road Friday during Nextel Cup qualifying at Dover International Speedway, has learned. On Friday, two cars – those of Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer – were told to take to the track for qualifying runs without a NASCAR official first removing the tape that is placed over the cowl, the top part of the car body that supports the windshield and the dashboard. The tape can only be removed by a NASCAR official. Berry is the pit road coordinator during the qualifying process, supervising such actions. With the tape on, car will typically run somewhat slower. NASCAR officials noticed the mistake before the session ended and allowed both Burton and Wimmer to qualify again. Wimmer was 29th fastest, Burton 33rd. NASCAR spokesperson Tracey Judd declined to comment, citing NASCAR’s policy of not commenting on internal personnel matters.(

  • Speeding - NASCAR's Monitoring System in the Dark Ages: #48 owner, Rick Hendrick was not pleased with the drive-thru penalty handed to driver Jimmie Johnson [for speeding]. "I don't understand with all the electronics at our disposal -- and even our sponsor Delphi has told (NASCAR) that they could put a wire in the ground at every track. If these people think that they can put another 10,000 people in the seats, they'll do that in a minute. But why not take the guesswork out of this pit-road deal. You got a guy up there with eyesight and a stop watch making a decision that can affect the championship."(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-27-2004)

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